Venison-Stuffed Acorn Squash: Jack Hennessy goes fall flavors in “Braising the Wild”

Jack Hennessy brings Venison-Stuffed Acorn Squash to “Braising the Wild.”

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Jack Hennessy does Venison-Stuffed Acorn Squash in “Braising the Wild,”

Jack Hennessy

Jack Hennessy brings together fall flavors this week in “Braising the Wild” with Venison-Stuffed Acorn Squash.

As always, there is a good tip embedded, this time on cooking wild rice.

Here is the recipe:

Venison-Stuffed Acorn Squash Finally, summer is finished and we can move onto more important things such as hunting and stuffing our game into acorn squash. I love the smell of roasting squash this time of year. Add some simmering mulled cider to the stovetop and I’m in scent heaven. This recipe, with its length of ingredients and longer-than-usual steps, may seem complicated but I can assure you it isn’t. Cutting the acorn squash in half is the hardest part (literally and figuratively). Be safe and make sure your knife is sharp. Please note: Wild rice varies from region to region. I could easily get my hands on some great stuff in Minnesota but the variety I found here in Kansas can’t hold a candle to that stuff. Therefore, the amount of chicken stock and cooking time may vary. Just know: the end result is tender and cracked open wild rice. Don’t worry if you have leftover liquid (better that than dried-out rice). Happy fall, y’all! Ingredients (two servings): 2 acorn squashes, halved 1 pound ground venison 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, diced 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese 1 cup wild rice, perhaps more 1-1/2 cups chicken stock 2 celery ribs, finely diced Half medium yellow onion, finely diced 1 medium carrot, finely diced 1 honeycrisp apple, finely diced 1/2 cup white wine 2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic 1 teaspoon each of freshly minced sage, rosemary and thyme Kosher salt and ground black pepper, mixed use Olive oil Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut squashes in half and remove seeds, lightly coat flesh with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper. In an oven-safe baking dish, add a thin layer of water and place squashes flesh-side-down in dish then place in oven for 20-30 minutes, until a fork easily slides in and out of squash flesh (but flesh isn’t mushy). When done, remove and set aside In a pot, add wild rice and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer. Wild rice is finished when it cracks and has a tender texture (could take as long as 45 minutes). During simmer, add more chicken stock if necessary to avoid drying out. Dice bacon and add to a large skillet on medium heat. Dust with ground black pepper. Once just short of desired crispness, add bacon to a sieve to drain grease into a bowl. Save both bacon and grease (separately). In that same skillet on medium heat, add finely diced apple (make sure to have removed seeds) and lightly salt and pepper. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir frequently and cook for 2 minutes then deglaze with white wine. Once wine is absorbed, remove diced apple cubes and set aside. Add a very thin layer of olive oil to same skillet followed by diced onion, celery and carrot. Lightly salt and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes then add ground venison. Lightly salt and pepper venison. Brown venison then add freshly minced garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, and leftover bacon grease. Stir together and let simmer for a few minutes, until thoroughly cooked. To assemble stuffed squash, in a large bowl, mix together cooked diced apple, venison and vegetable mix, wild rice, and bacon. Spoon out a heap onto each squash half and top with shredded parmesan cheese. Place in oven at 400, flesh-side-up, until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve and enjoy. Any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram: @WildGameJack.

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