Question answered: What the hell can you do with a smoked deer ham?

Show me the recipe!

First and foremost, I would like to apologize for not posting anything last week – to my one fan at least (Hi Mom!). I was in Vegas, and I am sorry. Moving on…

When you are a regular hunter, you tend to try different offerings at the game processor, depending on if they have something new. Or what you are really tired of from last season. Enter the smoked deer ham. I did not even know that you could make venison taste like ham, but it’s actually quite uncanny in the similarity to the real deal, especially considering venison’s lack of fat. So what the heck do you do with it? I mean besides just eat it.

wild game recipe potato pancake

Around the same time we thawed the deer ham I experimented with making potato pancakes. I found this super simple recipe for German potato pancakes that didn’t even involve flour, and they turned out to be fabulous. The best part is, the hamminess of the cured and smoked deer ham goes swimmingly with applesauce on the top, which is kind of the traditional thing to do in Germany. Since this is a ham and green onion combo, you can also add a dollop of sour cream. This is assuming you stop for two seconds to garnish it before immediately snarfing them down. They are also really delicious with a runny egg on top.

If you don’t have smoked deer ham, any cubed smoked sausage would be a great substitute. The original recipe calls for skinned potatoes. I left the skins on with no ill effects (because that’s where the potato’s vitamins live). I did try to make them at some point with the grocery store frozen pre shredded potatoes and they did not turn out as well. I think it’s because in the processing they rinse off the starch. As to the size, you can really make big giant ones or little mini ones. I of course thought smaller ones would be really cute, but then ended up frying them over the pan for longer than I really wanted to.

Smoked venison potato pancakes

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes


  • 3 Large russet potatoes (grated)
  • 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup smoked deer ham (cubed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground pepper (to taste)
  • vegetable or canola oil (for frying)


  • sour cream or applesauce (to top)


Step 1
Put your grated potatoes in a tea towel or cheesecloth and squeeze the excess moisture into a bowl. Let the liquid sit for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Carefully pour out the water, leaving a film of potato starch in the bottom of the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Step 2
Heat your oil in a skillet over medium. A full shallow fry (1/8-1/4 inch oil) will yield the best results, but you can skimp on the oil if you like. Put about 1/3-1/2 cup potato mixture into the pan and flatten. Fry on each side until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and serve warm. If little potato crumbs start to burn, you may need to replace the oil half way through.
Non-game substitution: Umm.. ham. Ner. Or smoked sausage. Or really any precooked meat that you can cube up relatively small.
Vegetarian substitution: Yes folks, this is yet another vegetarian recipe I simply added meat to. The horror, I know.

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3 Comments on "Wild Game Recipe: Smoked venison potato pancakes"

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Mama Lou

Mmm. Those look so yummy.
From your biggest fan!!


[…] If, for whatever reason, you’d like to try it with the potatoes, just omit the meat from my potato pancake recipe and cook […]

Steve Smith

It’s great that this article talked that hunters would like to offer something new all the time during different offerings. My cousin informed me yesterday that he and his companions were looking for hunting wild game recipes that could provide great techniques for top outdoor hunting game experiences. He asked if I had thoughts on the best option to consider. I’m thankful for this helpful article, I’ll tell him we can consult a well-known hunting wild games service as they can provide details about their recipes.