Deer in a Jar

DSC_0049Virgil, my fry bread guide, got a deer this year and I got a piece of it. Two jars of canned venison, in fact. Until a couple of weeks ago I had no idea you could keep venison in a jar, but there it is. Life is a learning experience. Here’s what I did with it:

Hungarian Cabbage Rolls (with Canned Venison)

1 lb canned venison, finely chopped

1 cup uncooked rice



1 green cabbage

1 can sauerkraut

2 small cans tomato juice


The quantities here are a tad approximate, but this is a very forgiving recipe. First, cut out the core of the cabbage with a sharp knife. Boil the cabbage for about 10 minutes, prodding it aimlessly until the leaves start to come apart. Drain it and let cool.

In a bowl, mix the chopped venison, the rice, and enough salt and pepper. Take a leaf of boiled cabbage and put a few spoons of venison mixture on it.


Tuck in the sides and roll up. Easy!


Layer the bottom of a heavy pan with sauerkraut. Place the rolls on top of this.


Cover with sauerkraut and add tomato juice (and water) to cover. Sprinkle with sugar. Simmer for about two hours. Eat with good company and cheap wine.


3 comments to Deer in a Jar

  • War Pig

    Sangria goes good with things like that, in my opinion. It is sweet and fruity and does not clash with the food; but then, I like Sangria pretty much all the time, being a wine philistine. I love venison and take three or four per year (my state is filthy with excess deer). You may can (or Mason Jar) almost anything, including fish. Mamaw (grandma) would can anything that stood still for more than 5 minutes, so we kids kept on the move. As for venison I salt it, smoke it, can it, freeze it, jerk it and make it into delectable summer sausage. I also tend to add a little pork sausage to the venison when making things with it as venison is very low in fat and can crumble. I use the filling for cabbage rolls, stuffed zucchini and even for meatballs (with some breadcrumbs added). The mix you used for the cabbage roll filling works with many other dishes. Instead of boiling the cabbage leaves we put it in the freezer for a few days, then take it out to thaw the night before. Your rolls look delicious and hope they were. The kraut on the bottom is also especially tasty when put in to cook with the rolls. Did you serve your kraut on the side or pile it atop the rolls as we do? (My family is German on dad’s side) I also do it mostly in the oven in a cast iron dutch oven (enameled). I bring it up to a simmer on the stove top (saves time) then put it in a 300 degree oven for 2-3 hours (depending on how many I make in the dutch oven.

  • I will try that freezer trick. This is going to be a regular at our table. As for the sauerkraut, we eat it all piled together. Fun!

    I am jealous of your smoked venison.

  • It’s posts like these that make dating a vegetarian difficult. so…very…

    I may stop by unannounced. ;)