Good Eats from Nature’s Bounty

You might be looking for wildly delicious recipes for your harvest after a hunt. We’ve got you covered! We asked folks with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for some recipes to prepare wild game, including venison, goose and rabbit. Here are some of their recommendations.

Venison Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms

By Vincent Porcellini, Park Administrator with the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation


  • 1 lb. ground venison sausage
  • 24 medium to large white button mushrooms
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped oregano
  • 1 tsp. chopped basil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling
  • ¾ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the sausage and set aside to cool. Remove the stems and rinse the mushroom caps. In a large bowl, mix the sausage, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs. Stuff each mushroom cap, forming a small mound. Sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top of each stuffed mushroom. Place stuffed mushrooms in an oven-safe baking dish. Pour enough chicken broth in the pan to cover the bottom. Cover with foil. Bake on center rack for 40 minutes.

Roasted Canada Goose

By Dawn Webb Cox, retired trainer/educator with DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

Soak a 3–4-pound field-dressed Canada goose in salt water for 24 hours. Remove, pat dry, and place breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Prick skin several times with a fork.

For stuffing:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery (leaves included), chopped
  • ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • ½ loaf of sliced white bread, coarsely torn

Melt butter in large skillet. Sauté onions, celery and seasoning in butter until onion becomes translucent. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Add coarsely torn bread to mixture, toss to coat. Place stuffing in the bird’s cavity.

Sprinkle the following dried herbs/spices on top of the goose:

  • Marjoram
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Black pepper
  • Celery salt

Pour 1 cup water in roasting pan. Add 1 large onion, quartered, 2 stalks of celery, and 1 chicken bouillon cube. This is what you’ll use to baste the goose with. Baste every ½ hour of baking time.

Bake uncovered in a 350 degrees oven for about 1½ hours or until meat thermometer registers 185 degrees. The juices from within the bird should run clear.

Deer Tacos

By Jeremey Ashe, Fisheries Construction Manager with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

Use fresh ground venison. (I store 2 lb. bags of chopped meat from butchering and grind my deer with a kitchen aid attachment when needed. Keeps it fresher.)

Brown over high heat with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Drain any fat and liquid,

Add taco seasoning and a little water to coat evenly,

Serve over freshly fried tortillas, add black beans and other fixings.

I like using my own jalapeños (cut up, put in quart jar, with 3/4 white vinegar and 1/4 water, add tablespoon of salt, add tablespoon of white sugar, then refrigerate for two days). They keep in the fridge for up to a month but they don’t last that long in my house.

Serve leftovers as deer breakfast tacos. Substitute beans with eggs.

Goose Stew

by Charles Swartout, Hunter Education Seasonal Instructor with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife


  • 4 goose breasts
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup red wine or cooking wine (I use Marsala)
  • 3 tbsp. minced garlic
  • Beef stock or bouillon cubes (I use 6 cubes and 5 cups water)
  • Cubed vegetables, carrots, potatoes, etc.

Make sure you have cut all gray skin coating off breasts (this is what makes the goose meat tough).

Soak breasts in salt water for at least 30 mins.

Cube vegetables and put in crock pot.

Remove breasts and pat dry, then cut into 2-inch cubes.

Dredge in flour with salt and pepper.

Brown in skillet with olive oil and then add to crock pot.

Sauté onions in butter, then add garlic, Worcestershire sauce and wine.

Simmer for 10 mins.

Add to crock pot with beef stock or bouillon cubes and water.

Cook on low for 8 hours.


Venison Osso Buco

By Jeremey Ashe, Fisheries Construction Manager with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

This recipe is best on a cold winter day (especially a snow day).


  • 4 venison shanks
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 15 baby carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Half onion
  • 15 oz. San Marzano or other canned tomatoes (I use my own that I canned during the summer)
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine (I use homemade blackberry wine)

Dredge shanks in flour and brown in an oven-safe pot.

Cut veggies and garlic into pieces and sauté with whole bay leaf.

About 5 minutes later, add tomatoes.

About 5 minutes later, add stock and wine.

Bring to boil add a little pepper.

Add shanks (liquid should be halfway or more but not over the shanks).

Put in oven at 325 degrees for one hour, uncovered.

Turn meat over and cook for another hour, uncovered.

Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta.

Venison Pastrami

By Jeremey Ashe, Fisheries Construction Manager with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife

One deboned venison leg or shoulder

Apply Morton’s Tender Quick per directions. (I used 1/2 cup to 2 cups water for my size and thickness)

Place deer in brine with additional 1 tablespoon whole pepper corn and two bay leaves for 5 days in fridge in airtight container or bag.

Agitate or flip meat once a day.

After 5 days, rinse meat in cold water and place in cold water in fridge for one more day.

Pat dry, coat in olive oil, liberally apply course pepper, coat evenly with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

Bake at 325 degrees on bed of carrots until internal temp is 180 degrees. Add a little water to pan and cover to steam until meat reaches 200 degrees.

Remove, seal in aluminum foil, cool down in fridge.

Cut to serve on sandwiches with spicy mustard and sauerkraut.

Makes for great reubens, too!

Rabbit Salad

By Dawn Webb Cox, retired trainer/educator with the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife


  • 3 dressed rabbits, quartered
  • 2 apples, cored and peeled
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 med. onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 5 dashes celery salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne
  • ⅛ tsp. paprika
  • ½ cup celery, diced

Place rabbit, apples, celery stalk and onion in large Dutch oven with 8 cups water. Bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove rabbit from Dutch oven to cool.

In medium mixing bowl combine mayo, vinegar, sugar, celery salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix well.

Remove meat of rabbit from bone and coarsely chop. Place meat and chopped celery in bowl with mayo mixture. Toss ingredients, coating well.

Serves 6

Did you try one of these recipes or prepare another game dish? Share the photo with us @DelawareDNREC on Facebook or X (Formerly known as Twitter).