Are you looking for tasty, Northern Wisconsin-inspired, cast iron cooking recipes? Whether you’re at the hunting shack, the ice shanty, or in your own kitchen, these Midwestern recipes are a healthy and hardy addition to your cooking repertoire.
4-Ingredient Pan Seared, Oven Roasted Steaks (Adapted from Field & Stream’s Recipe)
Ingredients: About 1″ thick venison (or beef steaks) – steaks can be as thin as 1/2″, with the 1″ width being ideal, and a 10″ cast iron skillet. (Too much thinner and the oven step becomes unnecessary.)
Remove the steak from the refrigerator or cooler and allow it to sit out at room temperature for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the cast iron pan in the oven.
- Use a paper towel to blot the blood and juices off the steak.
- Use canola oil or vegetable oil and apply to both sides of the steak.
- Apply sea salt and fresh ground pepper to both sides and rub it in to the meat with your hands.
- When the oven is pre-heated, remove the hot pan and place on the stove-top.
- Turn the burner on Medium-High.
- Place the steak in the pan and sear on the first side for no more than 30 seconds.
- Flip the steak to the other side and immediately put the pan back into the oven.
- In the oven, 2 minutes per side will give you a medium-rare steak and 3 minutes per side will produce a well-done steak.
Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for five minutes before slicing. I like to make a cranberry sauce or wine sauce in the cast iron pan on the stove while I’m waiting.
Super Simple Wild Duck Recipe
You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to cook duck! The best way to cook it is just to dress the bird and cook it whole. This recipe is adapted from DeltaWaterfoul.com . Other than the duck, you only need celery sticks or carrots, oil and salt for ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees.
- Rinse with water and pat the bird dry with a paper towel and salt the duck’s skin.
- Heat a cast iron skillet with oil or duck fat and brown the skin. Flip the bird around so the skin browns evenly on all sides until golden brown.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the duck and place it on top of the two celery or carrot sticks in a cast iron Dutch oven. The browned duck should be resting on the sticks breast side up.
Smaller birds take less time (as little as 10 minutes), and larger birds will need more time. Check the bird with a meat thermometer and remove it when the internal temperature is about 135 degrees. (Note: Wild duck isn’t like chicken or turkeys in that you have to cook them to 170 degrees. Wild duck is best eaten slightly rare.)
Remove the bird from the pan, set it on a cutting board and cover it with tin foil spaced one inch from the meat. Allow to rest for a bit and enjoy. The juices are delicious.
Northern Fried Pickles
Well, ironically, this recipe is more popular in the south than the far northern reaches of the country… But, serve with the 4th of July barbecue or try them on a burger.
- Beat 1 egg, 1 c milk, 1 tbsp. flour, 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, and a few drops of hot sauce together.
- In another bowl, place 3 ½ c. of flour ¾ tsp. salt and ¾ tsp. pepper for a breading.
- Slice pickles into thin slices and dip them in the batter and then in the flour mix.
- Heat a cast iron skillet to about 350 degrees F and oil the bottom of the pan generously. Place the pickles in the pan and brown on each side.
Open Fire Pan Fried Trout
- In a shallow dish, combine ½ c. flour, ½ c. cornmeal, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, and mix.
- Drench the trout in the flour mixture and set aside.
- Now, oil the cast iron skillet generously, and fry the fish for about 4-6 minutes on each side.
Cast-Iron Dutch Oven Biscuits
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place a greased Dutch oven into oven and allow to warm. Keep the lid on the Dutch oven. Use a heavy 10″ cast iron Dutch oven for more even heating. (When you’re camping, this recipe works just as well, just place the Dutch oven directly on the coals of the campfire.)
- In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 c. flour, 1 tbsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 6 Tbsp. cold butter, and 1 c. buttermilk.
- Using clean hands and a fork, reach in the bowl and work the flour into the butter and begin to warm it and work the mixture until the butter is pea-sized or smaller.
- Knead the mixture into a ball. Flour a board and roll out the dough with a rolling pin or hand press until dough is about ½” thick. Using a tin can cut out rolls, and place in the Dutch oven.
- Let rise for 12-15 minutes. Biscuits should be light, fluffy and golden brown.
This recipe makes about 6 rolls.