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The One Spice Blend You Need At Deer Camp

For a many seasons, the cabinets in our camp kitchen consisted of spices from the year before and it was anyones best guess of how much was left in each jar. Now don't get me wrong, they weren't all old or stale(maybe a couple were), but were they the freshest or most creative, absolutely not. Chili powder, cumin, a whole bunch of garlic powder and cayenne were the main staples and although they worked just fine, it would have been nice to have others. But when it comes to what you should keep in your camp kitchen, a lot has to do with what you're cooking. In the early days of deer camp, when the weather was frigid and the wind was whipping, a pot of chili was common and so was a pan of venison parm (which is another great camp dish to make ahead of time and keep frozen).

These days, I always try to serve at least one night that has a steak or a bone-in chop on the plate. When possible, an axis or whitetail chop is my favorite to use. And though it's hard to go wrong with a simple sprinkle of salt, pepper and some olive oil, I'm now keeping a secret weapon in the spice rack. Ras El Hanout is a blend of spices, first blended in North Africa. Simply put, Ras El Hanout means "head of the shop", implying that this spice blend is the best combination of spices that the seller could put together. Based on availability and personal preference this blend of powerful spices is almost always different from another one. Some consist of 10 spices, while others might have over 50.

If you're looking to keep something different in the spice rack this fall, I highly suggest mixing up a batch of this and keeping some in a mason jar. Perfect for venison, beef, lamb and even poultry.

Ras El Hanout


1 TBSP Ground Mace

2 tsp Ground Ginger

2 tsp Ground Cardamom

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/4 tsp Ground Clove

1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric

2 tsp Ground Cumin

1 tsp Ground Coriander

1 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp White Pepper

1 tsp Kosher Salt

Combine ingredients thoroughly and keep in an air tight container.

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