(Jean’s) Venison Chow Mein

Once upon a time my Christmas’s were comprised of a long drive to a small town, and a weekend gathering with my “in-laws”. It was a wonderful tradition that started with Jean’s famous Christmas Eve Chow Mein dinner. She made the best Chow Mein. I never asked her for her recipe, but I spent years trying to replicate the amazing taste I recalled from those special years. It broke my heart to learn she had passed.  Although her son and I were avid bowhunters with venison galore, I know that’s not what she used. This Christmas Eve, I dedicate to fond memories of Jean and my best try at her amazing Chow Mein—just a little bit on the wild side.

1 lb Ground Venison

4T Soy Sauce

4T Dry Sherry

4 stalks celery sliced at a 1/4“ diagonal

2 onions, chopped

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced thin

1 green pepper, chopped

1 8 oz package fresh bean sprouts


1 C Beef Broth

2 T Corn Starch

3 T Oyster Sauce

3 T Beef Bouillon

2 C uncooked white rice

  • Combine soy and sherry in a cup and divide.
  • Place half the mixture in a glass bowl, add the ground venison, 1 T of EVOO, and mix well. Cover and let stand at least 1 hour.
  • Prepare the rice in the rice cooker.*
  • Chop up all the veggies as needed.
  • Heat 2T EVOO and stir fry onions 1 minute in a large fry pan or wok. Add in the celery, green pepper, mushrooms and sprouts and stir fry until the veggies begin to soften—about 2 minutes, then remove from the pan.
  • Blend the broth, oyster sauce, bouillon, remaining soy and sherry, and cornstarch in a 4 cup glass measure and stir until the cornstarch is lump free.
  • Brown the burger in 2T EVOO (about 5 minutes should do it).
  • Turn the heat up to medium.
  • Stir in the liquid mixture, cover and simmer about 15 minutes until it becomes a thick gravy.
  • Uncover, add the veggies back into the pan, and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through and tender.  

Serve with hot rice, Chow Mein Noodles and Soy Sauce. Makes enough for 6 – 8 people. Merry Christmas!

*if you don’t have a rice cooker, place the rice into a 3 quart saucepan or soup pot. Add 4 cups water, 1T EVOO, and 1t salt. Cook over high heat until it is brought to boil, then cover pot and simmer about 25 minutes (check after 15). Let the rice stand for about 5 minutes before fluffing and serving.


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