Randy King is a recipe contributor to Idaho Fish & Game and lives in Nampa, Idaho. He is a trained chef, passionate hunter and angler, author of the cookbook “Chef in the Wild,” and has written food articles in numerous national publications.
Wedged into a rock outcropping above an aspen wooded valley, Ryan and I glassed a decent sized herd of mule deer. The big buck was defending his territory at the end of October, his neck swollen, and his harem being pounced upon by an invasive hoard of smaller bucks. He would run off one challenger after another in one-sided easily won fights. At about 300 yards this buck would have been a great wall hanger, but that was not the season Ryan and I were hunting. He had the “general season” tag that allowed him to shoot only “forky” bucks. We had to simply watch the show and hope that a little buck would show himself. Alas, no shooter showed up and eventually the herd wandered down the drainage out of sight. Back to the truck we hiked.
Eventually, about 3 p.m., we made a wide loop and came to the top of a long draw with a great view below. Then I messed up. The giant stick my foot was on cracked, then broke clean in half. The noise floating up the valley like a beacon, it was a cringe-worthy moment. Seconds later, still with that “oops” look on my face, I caught sight of a doe head at 100 yards. She was starring right back at me. Ryan was not amused either, but little could be done. This hunt just went from a “Spot and Stalk” to a “Spook and Shoot” in a heartbeat.
Soon a herd of deer was filing out the draw below us. One after another I watched them, tail raised, run out of the draw. “Doe,” I said, watching the herd pass by. “Doe, Doe, Doe,” as they began to file past us in the draw below about fifteen total. Soon the herd cut back to a leafless aspen grove following a well-used game trail. Joining the initial herd was a new group of deer, appearing from a different section of the draw. “Doe, Doe… a spike, I got horns!” I proclaimed.
One shot from his .285 rang out across the valley. Ryan, off a shooting stick, hit the buck just behind his left shoulder, sending the bullet through the deer's heart. The buck simply crumpled, never knowing what had happened. Ryan tagged the buck then started back to the truck for the pack boards. I dressed and quartered the deer – getting him into game bags quickly. Then we hauled him back in one fell swoop.
“Want any of this guy?” Ryan asked.
“Can I have the flank steaks?” I said.
“Really? That’s it?” he replied.
“I have an idea…”
Marinated Flank Steak with Ramen
Sometimes making classy junk food is just fun, and when done right it can be delicious. Like many college students I have eaten an inordinate amount of “ramen” in my day. At $0.25 each, they are a cheap way to full an empty belly. But with just a few extra items a bowl full of salt and starch can turn into a bowl of decadence. Cue this recipe for Venison Flank Steak.
- 1 each Deer Flank Steak (about 1 lb. of venison total, really any cut could work with this)
- 1 tablespoon Gochujang (look in the Asian food section)
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 1 teaspoon Shichimi Togarashi, optional
Add everything but the flank steak to a medium sized mixing bowl. Combine with a fork until mix is smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Add the flank steak and coat evenly with the marinade. Cover bowl with clear film and leave in the fridge anywhere from 4-24 hours.
Heat grill to medium-high. Take the venison directly from the refrigerator to the grill, do not pre-warm the meat at all. Cook flank steak no more than 3 minutes on each side. Remove to clean plate and let rest before slicing. Slice thin and serve on top of the Ramen bowl.
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar, white
- 2 packages “Oriental” Ramen
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 4 eggs
- 1 mango, cored and sliced thin
In one medium sized sauce pan add 4 cups water, bring to a boil. In a separate sauté pan add two cups of water and add the vinegar – bring to a simmer. Add to the ramen (including the flavor pouches, opened), broccoli, carrots and kale to the four cups of water. Bring back to a boil and remove from heat.
Crack, gently, the four eggs into the vinegar-water and let simmer until the egg whites completely set but the yolk is still runny, about 2 minutes.
Portion into four bowls the ramen, broth and vegetable mix. Top each bowl with a poached egg, sliced mangos and sliced flank steak. Enjoy!