Venison Swiss Steak

By Craig Nelson

It may seem like an odd time for wild game, but summer is in full swing and fall will be right around the corner.  Some of you are probably already thinking about placing your deer stands.  Even if you aren’t, thinking about a cool time of year is still comforting when out fighting blazing summer fires in full turnouts. Soon, football season will be kicking off, along with hunting and crockpot season. The least we can do is prepare for them. This is also a good chance for you to finish up any remaining wild game in the freezer from last season, making room for more this year.  

I would also like to make a special call out to all the cooks, readers and eaters out there.  I am running low on recipes and need some more.  If you have a recipe that has been well received at the fire hall or at home, send it in!    

This month’s recipe comes from Brad Nelson of Duluth, Minnesota.  Brad retired from the Duluth Fire Department after a 28-year career and now has a lot of time for hunting.  As an avid outdoorsman he has several wild game recipes, but this is one he used to make at the fire station.  Duluth is located along the shore of Lake Superior.  It is great area for outdoor activities like hunting and fishing.  The region is also known for iron ore mining and the large ships used to transport the ore out of the harbor through the great lakes.  Duluth has a full-time fire department with 132 uniformed members.  

I made this meal at home for my family.  My wife and I enjoyed it, but it was a little spicy for the kids.  Oh well, that just leaves more for mom and dad! 

Venison Swiss Steak


• 3 lb. venison steak
• Flour, about 1/2 cup
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
• 1 pack Lipton onion soup mix
• 1 can mushroom soup
• Lots and lots of hot sauce or cayenne pepper (optional)


Mix flour, salt, pepper, and garlic salt together. Coat the meat with flour. Tenderize the meat by pounding it with a meat hammer. Brown the meat in a heavy skillet. Place it in a roasting pan or slow cooker. Pour both soups on top and cook for three hours at 325o in roaster or in a slow cooker on high for four hours. You may add potatoes, carrots, onions, and so on if desired.


Ease of preparation: Easy, especially with some crew help
Time:  About 3-4 hours
Cost:  Around $2.00/person–depending on if someone can bring in a steak(s)
Feeds: Depends on size of steak 

I am always looking for more recipes and you don’t need to be a chef to share one.  If you and your crew enjoy it, then many other would too.  Please share your creations with other firefighters by sending in your favorite recipe.  Each article contains a quick introduction to those submitting the recipe, their department, their recipe, and any stories that may surround the legendary dishes.  Send recipes to .  Please also include your name and email address.  Eat together when you are able, and stay safe out there.

Craig Nelson has been in the fire service for nine years, working as a volunteer, paid-on-call, and a full-time firefighter/EMT. He works for the Fargo (ND) Fire Department and works part-time at Minnesota State Community and Technical College–Moorhead as a fire instructor. He also works seasonally for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter in Northwest Minnesota. Previously, he was an airline pilot. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership.

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