This is where we will share some of our favorite wild game recipes with you. You are welcome to submit yours as well.

                                                                                                 ON THE BACK BURNER

By Bob Leasure

 This new addition to the webpage  is for everyone that likes to cook, or we should say, “Eat.” In the up-coming newsletters everyone will have a chance to be a contributor; by submitting their favorite recipes to be selected “Recipe of the Month.” Also, your recipe may be included in a possible cookbook that’s in the planning stages. Here is how it works: Submit by Email to or by sending your recipe to: Recipe of the Month, c/o Bob Leasure, 1693 Conaway Run Road., Alma, WV 26320. Recipes should be original, on WORD document in standard recipe form and include no abbreviations for standard measures such as; cup, quart, teaspoon, and tablespoon. Also, include any special notes or tips about your recipe, such as *Note: I think you get a better texture if you use a well seasoned cast iron skillet. Submissions should include a little something about yourself; and how the recipe came about or what you usually serve it with. So, Let’s Get Cookin’ and submit your recipes Now! 

Bob Leasure is a WVHEA life member and serves as a board member for District VI and has been a volunteer WVHEA instructor for twenty years. He also had a catering business and makes all of his own rubs, sauces and marinades and cooks everything from scratch. His philosophy on grillin’ and cookin’ is, “There is only really good food or bad food, there ain’t no in-between; and as, always keep somethin’ really good simmerin’ , On The Back Burner.”


                                                                                      JULY – RECIPE OF THE MONTH Summer Supper by Bob Leasure

During those summer days when new things are readily available, sometimes you can get pretty much your whole dinner from your garden, or close to it. This was a summer ritual when I was growing up; and we looked forward to it every summer. My Dad’s Savage .25-20 provided my four brothers and three sisters with many hours of gathering young groundhogs.

Fried Young Groundhog

1-2 young groundhogs per person, (hopefully found away from the garden, not in it)

1 handful of new green onions, about a dozen w/tops – chopped

1 teaspoon seasoned salt, (reserve half to season the flour)

Pepper to taste ½ cup bacon grease

1 cup flour, more or less for dusting

Put on a large pot of water to boil. Add quartered groundhog, chopped onions, half of the seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a rapid boil, boil for 20 - 30 minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Let groundhog stand in water for about an hour. Remove groundhog, drain and dredge in the flour seasoned with the reserved seasoned salt and pepper. Heat bacon grease in large cast iron skillet over medium heat and fry, turning until nicely browned, cover and turn down the heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes or more taking care not to overcook. Remove pieces of groundhog, drain on paper towels.

*Serve with creamed peas and baby potatoes w/green onions. Recipe Below.

Creamed Peas and Baby Potatoes w/green onions

12 -14 golf ball sized new potatoes, (whole or halved - red or white), not peeled 6-8 green onions, chopped w/about half of the tops included.¿

White sauce, enough to cover most of the potatoes, (recipe below) Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and halve or leave whole, not peeled potatoes, boil until just tender, adding chopped onions and peas during last five minutes. Drain, and make white sauce, (recipe below) add peas, potatoes and onions, heat over medium, stirring until bubbly. Salt and pepper to taste.

White Sauce: My wife, Debbie makes her white sauce by; melting 2 tablespoons butter in 1 cup milk, whisking in 2 table-spoons flour, adding salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Cook until thickened. Double or triple this if needed. Use this recipe also to cream baby lima beans when you have them.

*Note: Homemade biscuits are great to sop-up any left-over white sauce on your plate.

*Note: Strawberry/Rhubarb Pie makes a great summer dessert to follow this supper.

                     September Recipe of the Month                  Joe's  Stuff

This recipe is perfect for the fall hunting seasons. This is simple to make and can be made ahead of time because it gets better every time you reheat it. It's also nice to have some waiting in the crock pot, on the  "warm" setting, for when you get back to the cabin from a fall turkey hunt or any other outing, especially of it's cold and rainy. It was created by Joe Brooks of the Appalachian Rangers Muzzle-loading Club from Shinnston, WV. He cooks it in a cast iron dutch over over an open wood fire.

2lbs of Italian sausage (hot or mild)

1 large green pepper (diced)

2 wax peppers (hot or mild)

2 large onions  diced + ( 3/4 chopped ramps, tops and all ( optional)

2 cloves of garlic

2 medium heads of cabbage (chopped)

5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven , brown and crumble the sausage. Add peppers, onions and garlic and cook about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir until totally blended. Cover and cook until tender. Great for pot luck dinners. 

Joe Brooks, Shinnston, WV

                                 OCTOBER  RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Alan Smith’s Squirrel Supreme


·       Spray 13 X 9 inch lasagna pan with non-stick vegetable spray

·       Cover bottom of pan with croutons

·       Mix: 4 cups cooked, deboned squirrel meat, ½ cup chopped celery, ¼ cup chopped onion,

         1 small can chopped pimentos, 1 small can sliced mushrooms and 1 cup mayonnaise 

·       Spread mixture on top of croutons

·       Put another layer of croutons on top of mixture

·       Beat: 2 eggs, ½ cup milk;  and pour over second layer of croutons

·       Refrigerate overnight

·       Before you bake: Pour 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup over all

·       Salt and pepper to taste

·       Bake 1 hour at 350° 

* Note, I like to sprinkle a little poultry seasoning on both layers of croutons; and I like to make my own croutons from day-old Italian bread. I’ve also made this recipe substituting diced cooked wild turkey thighs or pork shoulder for the squirrel. I’m going to try it with rabbit next.     Enjoy, Bob 

* Recipe from Alan Smith, Cook at the Moose Lodge’s #931 Annual Wild Game Feed, submitted by Mike Rokles, WVHEA board of director’s member for District 

                             April Recipe of the Month: Streamside Brook Trout with Watercress Salad    

This recipe is a joint effort of a couple of camp cooks roughing it and using what was available while backpacking on a mountain native brook trout
stream. “Brookies in a Tent” and “Ramp Salad” came while stuck in a lean-to on Old Big Run one very rainy weekend. We’d caught a few native
trout and about four of them had swallowed the barbless hooks and couldn’t be revived. My boys had gathered some ramps, a few morels and some
watercress. With the few essentials we had in our food cache we dreamed up this meal. Hot tea was our beverage, too.
Brookies in a Tent
2-squares of heavy-duty foil
Several pats of butter, we used squeeze butter in a bottle
4 brook trout, gutted, washed and left whole
4 tablespoons chopped ramps,
Your favorite hot sauce
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste
Clean trout by gutting and removing gills and bloodline along backbone. (leave heads on) Rinse thoroughly and lay alternately on squares of foil
belly-side up. Season inside of each with seasoned salt and pepper. Stuff belly cavity with chopped ramps, a pat of butter and sprinkle with hot sauce.
Pull up sides of foil, folding several times and seal the ends tightly. Set aside to make salad. Build a driftwood fire and let burndown to a pile of hot
coals. Rake coals level, set foil tent on coals, it’ll sizzle. After 2-3 minutes roll foil tent over for 2-3 minutes on other side. Pull tent off of coals and
let set a few minutes. Open foil tent, lift trout out by head and you can peel filets of trout off the bones. Add a little more hot sauce if desired.

              Ramp Salad
8 handfuls of fresh watercress, washed
6-8 whole ramps, cleaned and chopped - tops and all
4 handfuls of morels, cleaned and chopped
2 handfuls of young dandelion leaves, cleaned and torn-up
4 ketchup and mayonnaise packets per person Few
squirts of lemon juice.
Prepare salad greens, wash and shake dry in a clean towel. Put in bowels. Top with ketchup and mayo packets stirred together. Squirt with lemon.

                                                                      March Recipe of the Month - Venison Shepherd’s Pie

2 pounds potatoes, mashed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup milk
2-3 shakes parsley leaves
Make garlic-mashed potatoes, set aside.
6 slices bacon ,chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced thin
2 cups carrots, diced
2-3 shakes poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fine ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 15 ounce can beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup red wine
2-3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce
2 cups frozen peas
1 small pkg. baby Portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 quart canned venison, drained

Fry bacon in a deep cast iron skillet until crisp. Add onion, celery and carrot, stir together and cook until tender. Add poultry seasoning, salt, black pepper and minced garlic. Whisk
together the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, wine, flour and browning sauce until well blended. Add to skillet and stir over medium heat till it starts to thicken. Add peas,
mushrooms and venison. Cook until it starts to boil, cook stirring about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pre-heat oven to 400º. Spray a lasagna pan with cooking spray. Spoon
venison and vegetable mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Spread the Garlic Mashed potatoes evenly over the top, spreading with a flexible spatula. Bake on baking sheet in
middle of oven until potatoes start to brown. About 15 to 20 minutes, ovens may vary. Great for St. Patrick’s Day dinners. Serve with Rye Bread and butter and Red Wine

                                  Bake Deer Steaks and Gravy, (Venison Supper)     January - Recipe of the Month

This is one of favorite ways to use our venison, other than the back straps on the grill. It’snot so much of a recipe as it is a process. For measured amounts we’ll use 2 pounds deer,
(round) steaks sliced about 3/8” thick. The homemade gravy is what we all like poured allover the steaks and mashed potatoes. We usually serve it with green beans or peas; pretty
much the whole meal is from the garden, yes, even sometimes the deer too. If your fortunate to have any steak leftover, you can put it on bread with mustard to make a cold sandwich to
take in the field or in your lunch pail to work.

2 pounds fresh aged or frozen deer steak, thawed
Enough bacon grease to coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour and water to make a smooth silky gravy
Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce
A couple shakes of garlic powder if desired, (optional)

Get your skillet medium-hot with enough bacon grease to fully coat the bottom well. Salt and pepper your steaks before browning them in the skillet. Do not crowd the steaks when
browning them on both sides, (just brown - not boil). As you brown the steaks, remove and add them to a large baking dish that has a lid/cover. We use a large Corning Ware casserole
dish. After all of the steaks are browned and added to the baking dish, make the gravy. Using the same skillet, (add a little flour and dissolve in water together in a small bowl,) and add to
the pan drippings, and stir till it looks like brown water. Keep adding water and flour till you have enough thin gravy that will completely drown your steaks in the casserole dish. Add
enough Kitchen Bouquet to the thin gravy while stirring constantly to get the gravy to the desired color. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Add a little garlic powder if desired.
Just when the gravy is starting to boil it should start to thicken. Pour at once over the steaks to completely cover. Bake in a covered baking dish in a pre-heated oven at 350º for about 1-
1 ½ hours. 

*Note: You’ll want to make plenty of gravy to fully drown the steaks; it will thicken while
in the oven and you’ll want extra gravy for your mashed potatoes

                             May Recipe of the Month Wild Turkey White Bean Chili by Bob Leasure 

This recipe is for all of those turkey hunters that just breast their birds; what a waste. This recipe came about from years ago when I killed a big jake turkey and it seemed to be in the
molting stage. I used to pluck my gobblers until Beulah Talkington told me that she often skinned the birds that her son brought her, he was quite an accomplished turkey hunter and
always brought her one to cook when she was busy doing something else. She told me to just skin the bird. Separate the breast meat from the bone, a fillet knife works best for this. (Set
aside covered in refrigerator.) Then, cut the legs, thighs and that little scoop of dark meat where the thigh is attached to the backbone. Put a large kettle with water, 3 stalks of celery -
quartered, a large yellow onion – quartered, 3 carrots – quartered and the legs, thighs and other dark meat on to boil with a little salt and pepper. Bring to a rapid boil, boil for about 20-
30 minutes. Cover and remove from heat to cool for about an hour. When the meat is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and ligaments, leaving meat in as big
pieces as possible. (Use in any recipe, such as casseroles stews etc.,) 

Wild Turkey White Bean Chili
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups diced onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
3 - 15.5 ounce cans of Bush’s Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 quart homemade chicken broth
All of the cooked, diced dark turkey meat from 1 bird
1 small can of petite diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fine ground black pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro for garnish
1 hot banana pepper, minced for garnish
Heat canola oil in large kettle, cook onion until translucent, add garlic and stir. Add the rest
of ingredients in order. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve
with Santita’s white corn tortilla chips or white corn meal muffins

                                                                June Recipe of the Month

Haymaker’s Sandwich
The origin of this delightful sandwich comes from a tale that my mother told me while making it for us when we were growing up, always hungry. You get hungry when you share the table with four brothers and three sisters. Mom told us that this was what the immigrants from Whales, her grandfather was from Whales; or the Dutch-German settlement ate while putting up the hay. The workers only had time to take water breaks, “Gotta’ make hay while the sun shines,” as the saying goes. The workers would eat a big breakfast and not come-in till after dark, then eat supper. The wives of the workers would fry up extra rashers of bacon for this, carry to the field, recipe.
2 slices Sour dough bread
4-5 rashers, (slices) fried bacon
1-2 slices Swiss cheese
2-3 slices of fried green tomatoes, (tomatoes are not ripe yet in June)
This sandwich was wrapped in cloth and carried to workers in the hayfield to eat during a quick water break. Wrapping in cloth helped to soften the bread and melt the cheese. I prefer mine freshly made; the heat from the fried green tomatoes will melt the cheese just fine. Mom always had a big jug of sweet tea to wash it down.
Another sandwich we made as kids was Coal miner’s steak. Not Bologna as you’re thinking. No, this is a refreshing cold sandwich made in the early summer, before the Black Seeded Simpson lettuce bolted.

Coal Miner’s Steak Sandwich
2 slices white bread
Real Mayo
Peanut Butter
1 slice American cheese
Fresh leaf lettuce
Salt and pepper to taste

                                                          Debbie’s Easy Enchiladas  February recipe of the Month

My wife, Debbie Leasure always makes these to go with tacos and taco salad on Superbowl Sunday. Everyone just loves them and she often gets requests for some to take home from the guests that come to our Superbowl party.

2 pounds ground chuck, or (1 lb. ground pork and 1lb. ground venison)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 envelopes mild taco seasoning mix + water
2 10-ounce cans Old El Paso Mild Red Enchilada Sauce or (1 28-ounce can)
2 – 3 cups finely shredded Taco blend cheese w/seasoning
2 pkgs eight – nine inch, (10 each) Chi-Chi’s Soft Flour (Fajita Style) Tortillas
1 bunch finely-chopped green onions with green tops, (Optional) for garnish

Brown ground beef, drain grease and add onions, cook until tender. Add 2 pkgs. Taco seasoning mix and required amount of water on pkgs. (about 1 1/3 cups). Cook, stirring
frequently until almost all water is absorbed. Set aside to cool slightly. Pre-heat oven to 375 ͦ. Spray a 9 X 13 - inch glass baking dish, (Lasagna pan) with non-stick spray. Pour a little
Enchilada sauce in bottom of pan to cover bottom. Spoon Taco filling, (about 3-4 tablespoons) down middle of each tortilla, sprinkle w/cheese and roll-up. Place in pan rolled-end
side down, side by side to fill pan. Pour Red Enchilada sauce all over. Cover with more cheese. Cover with foil and bake, 20 -25 minutes. Note: Enchiladas should be rolled about the diameter of a broom handle, more or less. Some like corn tortillas, we favor the soft flour ones. If you choose corn tortillas, moisten them so they won’t crack when rolling them up.
*If some like theirs Hot, have a bottle of their favorite Hot Taco sauce on hand.

                                                August - Recipe of the Month Jambalaya Stuffed Cajun Catfish from Zac Leasure

My son, Zac Leasure, came up with this recipe when we were in a BBQ contest several years ago. His favorite fish to eat are catfish. He went to our pond and caught some
catfish, filleted them and concocted this meal in foil packets, cooked over a medium hot charcoal fire. The Recipe won 1st Prize, $100. 

2 Fresh or frozen catfish fillets per person, (about 10 -12 inches long)
¼ teaspoon Cajun rub for every 2 fillets
Butter flavored cooking spray
Heavy duty aluminum foil, torn into 12 X 18 inch sheets for each packet
1 cup Jambalaya per packet, Jambalaya recipe below
Few sprinkles hot sauce per packet

Build charcoal fire. Fillet catfish rinse and pat dry. Make Jambalaya and set aside for stuffing fillets. Tear foil and spray each sheet of foil on one side. Sprinkle Cajun Rub on both sides of each fillet. Place one fillet in middle of foil. Top with 1 cup Jambalaya and the other fillet. Sprinkle with a little hot sauce. Fold foil to seal lengthwise over fillets, tightly roll-up ends to seal packets. Place foil packets on grill over medium hot coals. Cook 2-3 minutes on side with folds of the foil facing up. It will begin to really sizzle, turn packets over for 2-3 minutes on other side. Set aside to cool for several minutes. Carefully unwrap to let steam escape. Dish In! 

¼ cup bacon grease
2 pounds hot or mild link sausage, sliced
1 pound cooked ham, cubed
½ stick butter
1 pound red onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 pieces boiled chicken, deboned and cubed ( 1 each; breast, leg and thigh)
3 boxes Uncle Ben’s Original Blend long grain and wild rice
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound raw salad shrimp
Garlic powder to taste
2 tablespoons Cajun Rub; ( equal parts each: chili powder, seasoned salt, ground red pepper and oregano)
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch green onions, chopped tops and all for garnish
Fry sausage and ham in bacon grease, drain and discard grease. Melt butter. Add onions and peppers andcook until tender. Add celery, cook five minutes more. Stir in minced garlic. Add chicken, broth and rice. Cook until it’s boiling. Add shrimp and all remaining ingredients. Cook covered until rice is done. Check to make sure rice isn’t sticking. When done, stir and fluff. Garnish with green onions and serve.

                                           November – Recipe of the Month   Christmas Venison – from Beulah Talkington

Beulah Talkington puts as much into her cooking as she and Bill put into their dedication into the Hunter Education Program. She gets her cooking skills from her mother, who ran Marty’s Restaurant for many years and is very meticulous about details in all she does. Beulah’s secret of great tasting game as she says, “Begins in the field; the perfect goal is to choose the proper combination of equipment and knowledge to bring about a Clean One-shot kill of a calm animal in it’s correct cycle of life.” An animal that is at rest, going about it’s normal routine, preferably a bedded deer will make better table fare. This recipe is great for a Christmas meal when you have family in, or at deer camp to feed hunters for several days. Starting
with a perfectly prepared, aged deer the process renders some of the best venison that you will ever enjoy. 

2 frozen whole legs of a young deer
1-12 ounce can frozen orange juice
1-12 ounce can frozen apple juice
4 medium onions, sliced
1 pound bacon, sliced
Sea salt and Black pepper to taste
1-12 ounce jar apricot preserves
Miracle Whip and Horseradish Sauce

Day 1 Place frozen legs of venison in porcelain turkey roaster. Mix juices with 6
cans of water in 1-gallon pitcher. Stir well, and pour enough juice over to cover a
little above halfway on the meat. Securely tie the covered roaster in a large plastic
bag. Store at 32º-45ºin a cool shady place, I used my second refrigerator.
Day 2 At least 24 hours later, open bag and turn meat over, cover and retie bag for
another 24 hours.
Day 3 Turn meat over again, Drain juices and discard. Cover meat with raw onion
and bacon slices. Bake at 300ºfor 2 ½ hours. Cool 1 hour. Scrape onion and bacon
into pan drippings, reserve to be used for other dishes. Slice meat ¼ inch thick.
Layer in a 9X12 inch baking pan, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper and
dots of the preserves. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
Day 4 Serve meat slices with Miracle Whip and Horseradish Sauce with or without
bread. If you’re lucky to have any left-over it may be frozen.
*Note: My son loves this recipe with Plochman’s mustard instead of mayo, too.

                                               Black Bear Hunter’s Camp Chili - December, Recipe of the Month

1 ½ pounds ground beef chuck
1 ½ pounds ground bear meat, (or 1-quart cold packed bear stew meat, drained)
1-2 hot banana or Anaheim pepper, seeded and minced
1 ½ large yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon hickory liquid smoke
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoons fine ground black pepper
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 quarts tomato juice, home canned
One 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoons cumin
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
One 19-ounce can La Costena prepared whole black beans w/juice
Two 15-ounce cans pinto beans w/juice
One 16-ounce can refried beans, to thicken

Several sprinkles ground red pepper, (NOT Cayenne) if you like it spicier Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish Step 1: In a 6-quart Dutch oven, Brown ground meats together, breaking up
thoroughly. (If you are using cold packed canned bear meat add after step two.) Add peppers, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Step 2: Stir in tomato paste, tomato juice, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powder. If using canned bear meat drain and add now. Bring to a low boil. Step 3: Turn down heat to simmer. Stir in black beans and pintos till well blended. Add refried beans to thicken and simmer on low heat till flavors meld together. *Note: If you like your chili spicier, shake on a little ground red pepper, garnish w/ fresh cilantro. *Recipe Origin: This recipe is reminiscent of a chili we had at a bear hunter’s cabin, that my father and I were guests at in the West Virginia mountains on the east side of Buchanan many years ago on my very first bear hunt. It is a full-bodied chili that is not runny, so you don’t need crackers unless you really like them with chili. We like our chili served with homemade bread and butter, peanut butter sandwiches or Garlic toast is great too.
From the Camp Kitchen of: Bob Leasure