Delicious Wonton Venison Taco Cups Recipe - Wild Game Wednesday
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes 24 Taco Cups
These Wonton Venison Taco Cups are the perfect game day appetizer or fun spin on a Taco Tuesday night! Layers of seasoned venison and cheese are baked in wonton wrappers in a muffin tin, then finished off with your favorite taco toppings.
The best part of football season for me is the food. While it’s exciting to pack into the Fargodome stadium and watch our North Dakota State Bison football team try to win another national championship, it’s tough to compete with a beautiful spread of Buffalo Pheasant Dip, smoked ribs, hearty bowls of Venison Chili and brats.
These Wonton Venison Taco Cups are an easy appetizer that will make your football party guests happy they chose to come to your house on game day. They’re simplicity also helps with the goal to spend less time in the kitchen during the game so you don’t miss any of the action. I also appreciate them because they are a great way to introduce your friends to wild game but are light bites in case you want to snack all day like I always do.
The meat for this dish comes from a late-season deer hunt here in North Dakota. The wind had turned fierce, and the temperature was plunging. The trunks of the cottonwood trees twisted and moaned. Even in the refuge of the river bottom, the branches whipped about making it nearly impossible for me to scramble upward along the bank through the deep snow.
But I was on a mission. An array of deer tracks traversed everywhere across the sea of snow that lay before me. I took the deer skin leather mitten off my right hand and made a palm print in the snow next to one of the deer tracks, pressing its edges. The snow easily gave way, hinting these were fresh tracks that were leading me in the direction of fresh venison.
A deer walking in a straight line is usually walking with intention and purpose. If that were the case, I would have had to move quickly to try and catch up. But these tracks weaved side to side through a bramble of chokecherry bushes which was a good sign the deer was probably looking for a place to bed down now that it was mid-morning.
A bedded deer is always on alert and is easily spooked, so every step I took was calculated. The crunch of the snow made silence impossible, but I was careful not to brush up against any of the chokecherry branches, now bare and left shivering in the wind.
The white earth exploded 20 yards in front of me and a white-tailed doe with its flared tail bolted from the sanctuary it had found in the broken trunk of brittle wood. I raised my rifle and took aim 1/3 of the way up from the belly, right below the front shoulder. The bullet punched through the reddish-brown coat and the deer tumbled forward, like a child being thrown from a toboggan at the bottom of a sledding hill.
I retrieved my deer tag, black nitrile gloves, and my Outdoor Edge RazorCape Knife from my pack. I notched my tag with the date, then stared down at the big animal that lay before me. The freezing cold was enough to make the deer’s blood steam as it flowed down the hide from the bullet hole. I quickly began the process of field dressing, laying each treasured piece of red meat on the clean white snow. All the while, I dreamed of the new recipes I would create that would allow me to cherish the animal, the meat, and this bitter cold hunt that would bring warm memories for a lifetime.
- cooking spray
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground venison
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 green onions, diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Gently press one wonton wrapper into each cup of the greased muffin pan. Bake for 8 minutes until lightly brown.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the ground venison to the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes, using a spatula to break up the meat, stirring constantly.
- Add the taco seasoning and stir well with the spatula until meat is thoroughly coated.
- Stir in the canned tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture into each wonton cup and top with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese. Return the wonton cups to the oven and bake another 3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Remove the wonton cups from the oven and add a small dollop of sour cream on top of the cheese. Now sprinkle each with a few green onions, diced Roma tomatoes, and diced avocado. Serve immediately.