Make good use of venison, turkey, squirrel, catfish, and more with these Realtree Timber 2 Table classics
Everyone loves a well-made sandwich. If you think about it, a couple of slices of bread are a blank canvas to build your own sandwich masterpiece. Over the years, we've made so many wild game versions here at Timber 2 Table. Here are a few of our favorites, along with links to the recipes so you can try them too.
Venison is a classic wild game sandwich ingredient. For this recipe, we head to the Northeast for inspiration. If you've never spent time in western New York state, particularly around Buffalo, then you've probably never heard of a beef on weck. If you have, you know the sandwich has reached a near cult-favorite status in the area.
What is a beef on weck? It's thinly sliced roast beef piled high on a toasted Kummelweck roll, a hard roll topped with caraway seeds and kosher salt. The meat gets topped with prepared horseradish, and the sandwich gets served with au jus for dipping. Weck purists (yeah, that's a thing) will tell you to only use prepared horseradish, never horseradish cream. That said, I get a locally made smoked horseradish sauce that I'm fond of, so I use it. We substitute venison top or bottom round smoked to 125 to 130 degrees internal temperature, then sliced thin across the grain to give beef on weck a wild game twist. Find the recipe here.
For this recipe, we marinate the sliced turkey breast in pickle juice for a couple of hours, then dip it first in seasoned flour, run it through an egg wash, and dip it in a flour-and-panko breadcrumb coating for plenty of crispy crunch.
While turkey cooked this way makes a pretty good sandwich on its own, we kick the flavor up even more with the addition of some applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and a fried egg. You can find the recipe here.
A good sandwich isn't limited to wild game. Fish, in this case catfish, ranks pretty high on the sandwich meter. For this crowd-pleasing recipe, spicy Buffalo sauce coats crispy fried catfish fillets. A bit of Cajun spice in the catfish dredge pairs nicely with the spicy sauce. Top the fish with a serving of creamy cole slaw to cool things back down. For even more flavor, we like to sprinkle a few blue cheese crumbles over the slaw. Find the recipe here.
Here's another wild turkey sandwich you will love. Po'boys originated in New Orleans sometime in the late 1800s when vendors started piling fried oysters on freshly baked rolls to make them easy to eat on the go. Originally, the sandwich was locally known as an oyster loaf.
Eventually, a pair of brothers by the name of Martin opened a sandwich shop where they sold oyster loaf sandwiches, as well as sandwiches filled with other things piled high on their freshly baked French bread loaves.
When the local streetcar and electric railway union went on strike in 1929, the brothers wanted to support their friends who were off work while they sought better pay and working conditions, so they started handing out free sandwiches to the striking workers.
Legend has it that as the sandwich-shop workers would see a union member approach, they would call out, Here comes another poor boy, to alert the kitchen to prepare a sandwich. The name stuck, and eventually got shortened to po'boy. For ours, we pile on buttermilk marinated crispy fried wild turkey nuggets for lots of crunch and super flavor. Find the recipe here.
While fried is the classic way to prepare squirrel, they also taste great on the grill. The trouble with squirrel, particularly older specimens, is that the meat can be tough once cooked. Get around that by slow smoking the squirrels on the Traeger grill for a couple of hours for flavor, then adding them to a pan with onions and the liquid of your choice like beer or stock. Cover and slow braise until the squirrel gets tender and the meat practically falls off the bone.
Go ahead and remove the bones, stir the squirrel meat into the cooked onions, and pile the result high on a bun for a squirrel sandwich everyone will love. Find the recipe here.
Here's another take on a venison sandwich. The title says breakfast, but this one is great any time of day. B√°nh m√¨ is Vietnamese for a type of bread, but the term has grown to describe any traditional Vietnamese-style sandwich. Think of a b√°nh m√¨ as a Vietnamese po'boy. Fillings are traditionally pork, chicken, p√¢t√©, or steak, usually marinated in a soy or fish-sauce-based Asian-style marinade, then grilled or steamed. The meat is usually topped with pickled vegetables and leafy greens and fresh herbs.
This version is a riff off that traditional preparation, but with a bit of a deer camp flair. We turned the b√°nh m√¨ into a breakfast sandwich complete with fried venison backstrap. Whether you get up early and cook up a batch before heading out in the morning, or have them as a late lunch after a hunt or at the house on a lazy weekend morning, these b√°nh m√¨ will hit the spot and keep you full most of the day. Find the recipe here.
This venison sandwich is a family favorite at our house. Do you love perfectly pink, thin-sliced roast beef piled high on a sandwich? I do. What's better than roast beef? Venison. We've tried several cooking methods over the years to get that perfect texture on a venison roast. Most over or under cook the center of the roast, or dry out the venison, making for a tough slice.
For a perfect roast, break out the sous vide unit. The method uses hot, circulating water to evenly cook a vacuum-sealed portion of food. Since the water never goes above the set temperature, the meat can't overcook, no matter how long you leave it in the pot. We cooked this roast for about 12 hours at 130 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping it a nice medium-rare but making it perfectly tender. Sous vide units, once limited almost solely to restaurant kitchens, are now affordable for everyone. This recipe alone makes one worth having. Find the recipe here.