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Food and Cooking

Venison recipe |Try Bob’s Minnesota Venison Jerky for a tasty, quick energy snack

The hunt isn't over when the animal is harvested. Some great eating is still to come.
Venison recipe |Try Bob’s Minnesota Venison Jerky for a tasty, quick energy snack

I hear from my hunting buddies after successful hunts, and we swap recipes, stories and lies. Here’s a jerky recipe from a successful Minnesota hunter.

by Bob Patterson

Bob and I were  college roommates at Iowa State University, and have done many, many camping, backpacking, climbing, canoeing and hunting trips together. Bob retired after a career as a fire fighter/emergency response professional. Currently a resident of Mankato, Minnesota, Bob  is a regular at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota. For many years, he’s been on my short list of people to hang out with outdoors.

Bob Patterson at waterfall on Blue Earth River, Minnesota.

Bob Patterson kayaking near a waterfall on the Blue Earth River, Minnesota.

Here’s a really simple recipe for a jerky marinade that I’ve been using for the last 40 years and it tastes just as good as the stuff that comes in the plastic bags. It will work within a dehydrator or in the oven.

It makes enough to soak meat in a large mixing bowl and is pretty concentrated so a couple of hours will do it. I used to soak the meat over night, but that was too much.

If you are making jerky in the oven, you can soak the next batch while the first one is drying. Stirring the contents of the bowl a few times ensures even taste throughout.

Editor’s note: I named this recipe, because Bob regularly harvests deer from northern Minnesota.

Bob’s Minnesota Venison Jerky

Basic ingredients:
Soy sauce – 3 bottles
Liquid smoke – 1 bottle
Brown sugar – 1 cup – stir until dissolved

Flavor additives:

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Garlic cloves – frappe’
Onion – frappe’
Teriyaki sauce
Worcestershire sauce

The basic ingredients make a good jerky all by themselves. If you make a lot of jerky, it’s fun to have some flavor variations using the other additives.

I like to mush up the garlic cloves and onion, or frappe’ them in a blender so the meat is basically soaking in the juice. If you use the blender method, it WILL affect the flavor of your next margarita.

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View Comments (2)


  1. Leon

    12/28/2015 at 14:58

    Probably – beef is the easiest to find, but you could use any red meat.

  2. Kerry harris

    12/22/2015 at 11:07

    Can you any kind of meat, if so what is the best?

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Food and Cooking

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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