The online community of knife collectors, A Knife Family Forged in Steel
iKC is full of members who enjoy using knives from their collections to prepare and eat a meal. This can include using your Fallkniven V1L hunting knife to prepare a great rack of ribs for the BBQ to using your collectible David Yellowhorse Buck 110 at your favorite steakhouse; or from using your EDC to slice an onion to using your WWII era Army mess kit knife to butter your toast. Maybe instead your collection includes a fine set of Katsura or Seido Damascus kitchen knives – in which case Hontōni kūruda koto (which means That’s really cool!)
The point is that knives and food have been partners since mankind first said “I’m hungry!” Oh sure, we may have dedicated kitchen knives we use, but it’s always more fun to use something from our collection – it just seems to add to the flavor!
This thread is dedicated to the knife you use to prepare and enjoy the food you eat. Share your knife, share your story, and share your recipe!
Venison Breakfast sausage (fresh Swojska kielbasa)
Sometimes you just need to have some fresh kielbasa to have with breakfast, or in your cottage pie, or with some Resztki (pronounced Rest-key). That's what I've done here – but with a twist. I used pork scraps and venison for this batch.
Now I know that for most folks, when you say kielbasa, you’re thinking either those long 3 pound rolls in a freezer box or a package of links. But there is fresh kielbasa as well. And just to be clear, remember kielbasa = sausage. There is no such thing as Kielbasa sausage, because then you are calling it Sausage sausage. And there are many different kinds and flavors of kielbasa, as we are about to discover.
Because this is a fresh sausage (meaning not in a casing) it could be considered a breakfast sausage, or Swojska kielbasa.
For this recipe, it’s about using up meats that I may or may not otherwise have a use for. I happened to have 5 pounds of pork rib trimmings and a 2 pound venison roast. The rib trimmings come from racks of pork ribs that are trimmed St. Louis style, and saved for later use. As my wife is not so fond of Texas venison, using it in a flavorful sausage is ideal. However – this recipe can be used with any meats really.
I usually start this process on a Friday night, and finish it on either Saturday or Sunday.
This is what I used for the ingredients – estimating yield to be 5-7 pounds: (adjust meat according to what you have)
Directions: Day 1 - Meat Prep
Notes on Cure #1 -
Cure #1 is primarily used when curing meats that will be cooked later. Because this is going to be fresh sausage and not in a casing, we will not be curing sausage. However, as a precaution, I used it in this batch because the venison is wild game. Most nasties that are associated with wild game is killed off during the cooking process in fresh sausage, but I chose to be cautious. Cure #1 is not needed if using farm-raised meats in fresh sausage.
Directions: Day 2 - The Grind
The knives featured in this adventure include the following (top to bottom):
And there you have it! Great tasting breakfast kielbasa made with my three of my favorite knives!
A Great Steak Knife
Somewhere around 1979-80 I read a small article in Blade Magazine about collectors who use their knives as personal steak knives. Wow…I had never thought of that. This was a revelation for me, as the article gave me permission to use my own knife.
And why not? You bowl better when you use your own bowling ball; you’re a pool sharp when you use your own pool cue….it makes sense. The steak has to taste better when you use your own knife! And of course, the knives shown in the article were serious works of art too, custom made for the collector.
The problem was that at the time, my entire blade collection consisted of my Kamp King Scout knife, an Arisaka Type 30 bayonet, and my college fencing gear. So I began a quest to find a knife worthy of that steak!
Today, that notion has been somewhat blown out of proportion, and I use my collection knives for everything in the kitchen, the BBQ, and eating out.
One evening I was enjoying a great steak at one of our favorite restaurants of the time – The Stag & Hound, using this Damascus knife.
I was unaware at the time that my knife was being admired by another guest sitting at a nearby table. After I finished that perfect steak using my personal steak knife, the gentleman came over and commented on my knife. Asking to see it, I cleaned it off and handed it to him. Full of compliments, he too commented that he never thought of bringing his own steak knife to a restaurant, and watching me enjoy my dinner gave him permission to do just that as well.
Then he asked if I would be willing to sell it. Although I thought my knife was cool, I didn’t think it was that cool….but he did. So I sold it on the spot. That sale not only paid for my dinner, it put some jingle in my jeans as well.
Today I have several knives in my Steak Knife arsenal, and let me tell ya – the steaks do taste better when you use your own knife!
Preparing for the Family Thanksgiving Meal
In preparation for the 2021 family Thanksgiving meal, we harvested two turkey's today at my son's farm - a 24 pound Tom and a 23 pound hen. With plenty of hands to do the feather plucking, my son cleaned and dressed the birds, and I dressed out and prepared the giblets (gizzards the size of base balls, livers, hearts, and neck trimming).
Since nothing gets wasted, these will be added to the carcass, the feet, and necks for bone broth on Thanksgiving day as well. For this task, I chose my Mossberg MSG9899 for the job. You can read more about this knife in following iKC knife review:
While harvesting your own turkey for Thanksgiving may not be the ideal or classic Norman Rockwell memory, I find it extremely satisfying to see my children practicing the skills we taught them to at least "know how", while teaching their children at the same time. It's a living legacy...and it tastes so good!
So here's the Mossberg:
A simple knife that is ideal for most fowl or poultry, it makes quick work of meat prep. It keeps an edge and it cleans up well.
However you celebrate....Happy Thanksgiving!
Muela Stuffed Squash with Venison Sausage
A trifecta of goodness - a slow cooked acorn squash with fresh venison sausage prepared with my Muela Mirage 20 Bowie. I'm not sure it can get much better!
Following the survival principal of 2=1, the Muela Mirage 20 is my main pack knife supported by my Buck 110 folder. This was my primary tool set as a Search & Rescue (SAR) officer throughout the outback of Arizona, be it alpine, the chaparral, or desert.
Whether on a mission or just camping, the stuffed squash with sausage made a perfect single meal, as it has everything needed to satisfy the taste buds and the hunger pangs in a single "one pot" meal. Easy to prepare, it was prep'd in foil prior to the backpack trip or mission so I didn't have to carry separate ingredients - just unpack and throw it in the fire. Usually it was buried in the campfire embers after morning coffee, and baked in the fire coals for the day. Buy late afternoon / early evening, it was ready to consume! At home, I often prepare one of these for my lunch.
About the Knife:
Depending on your perspective, the Muela Mirage 20 is a hybrid of what is referred today as a Combat/Fighter/Survival/Tactical knife. At the time of purchase back in 1993, it was simply marketed as a Hunting/Survival knife by most suppliers. What I cared about is that it had all the design elements that made it ideal for the various Arizona landscapes and terrains for both my SAR and backpacking experiences.
The Mirage 20 is still an offered design by Muela today, is still under $100.00 USD, and is still my go-to main pack knife!
Making the Meal:
OK...I'll admit the Mirage 20 is probably not the most practical knife to make this meal with, but I gotta tell ya - it sure is fun! And besides, those acorn squashes can be tough little buggers to crack open. What good is carrying a survival knife if you can't use it to survive and feed yourself?
Here's what we need:
Here's what we do:
To be honest, I'm not sure which is more fun - using my knife or eating the squash! The point is that knife handling skills is a perishable skill. If you are a knife user - be it cutting up cardboard or practicing Bushcraft, using your go-knife in the kitchen is a great way to keep those skills alive. It doesn't matter if you use your Spyderco to slice an onion or your Muela Mirage 20 to cut open a squash - the key is to use it!
I hope you enjoyed this - I sure did. Thanks for reading.