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November 2, 2010

MADISON - When Conservation Warden Tim Lawhern is not working on hunter education programs, he is in the woods after his next main course. And he's ready to share one his favorite venison recipes sure to please a hungry crowd.

Lawhern says while there are many ways to prepare venison taken from the field, his sure-fire method of the venison kabob has proven to be a tasty success.

"First and foremost is how you've prepared the meat before you even cook it," Lawhern said. "Marinades are an excellent way to add flavor and tenderize the meat."

Lawhern's marinade favorites to tenderize the meat are vinegar or soda.

"The acid in the soda breaks down the fibers in the meat and the sugar in the soda adds a bit of sweetness," he said. "Of course a hint of the flavor of the soda transfers to the meat. So, use the flavor you prefer. Just remember that you need to use the sugar version of soda and not the diet."

Here is Lawhern's method:

Prepare the meat by cutting it into sizable chunks roughly an inch thick. Be sure to cut the meat across the grain of the muscle fibers and not with them. Marinade the for 4 hours to 24 hours. The longer you marinade the more flavor the meat grabs from the marinade. Next, start your grill and set to medium to medium-high heat. For a charcoal grill, just get the coals to a heat where you can only hold your hand above the coals for about 3 seconds.

"The meat is ready and now you add your favorite veggies or fruit," Lawhern said. "Some like the traditional bell pepper and onion wedgeswhile others will add tomato or apple or pineapple slices."

Place the meat and other items in an alternating fashion on the kabob skewers. When that is done, some chefs like to sprinkle the kabobs with their favorite seasonings. A good mix is simply salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Place the kabobs on the grill and wait 7 minutes. At the 7-minute mark, rotate the kabobs 180 degrees. Wait 7 more minutes and then remove from the grill.

"The meat should be somewhere between medium rare to medium well depending on the heat of your grill and the thickness of your meat," he said. "For venison, you don't want to over cook it."

Lawhern's last bit of advice: Be sure to prepare about twice as much as you think you need to feed your crowd.

"It's amazing how fast it goes," Lawhern said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Lawhern, hunter education administrator - (608) 266-1317

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 02, 2010

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