Sunday, March 13, 2022

A little Irish luck

 Most of you knew Pops as an accomplished Fisherman, fly tyer, hunter, author and blogger. However, Pops had a legacy that most followers of SSR may never have known. For over 40 years he was a legend to many behind the meat counter as an accomplished meat cutter. He started his career at a young age behind the counter of a local meat center and put in many years at several grocery stores along the way. 

"Big Al" is still a legend in the grocery world, and he had been retired for 14 years, but people still speak of him fondly and speak to his talent. Even watching him at home, whether cutting up a deer heart or a peanut butter sandwich, he would do it with such precision and grace. 

Even up to recent days he would call me in to the kitchen to show me exactly where to place the knife, and how to hold it, whenever he would be butchering a cut of meat. Taking the time to show me step by step how to do it, with patience and finesse that only he could. 

As many of you do know, I spent most of my life deer hunting with my Pops, mostly in Pennsylvania. Even going to sit out in the woods with him, before I was too young to hunt myself. These were some of our greatest memories, sitting in the woods alone together, waiting for that deer to come along. 

Combing his two passions for hunting & meat cutting, he was always thinking up different ways to utilize our harvest each year. Whether it be cooking up the backstrap, making venison sausage, stews or soups. This brought on a yearly tradition of Corned Venison to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  A coveted recipe all his own. While looking through things in recent days, we found the Holy Grail of shorts, a beautifully written copy of such recipe. 

So, in the spirit of the season and with blessing from above. I share with you the coveted Corned Venison Recipe. Enjoy it in all its glory, and please think of Pops if you decide to make it. 

Best wishes, 

Alan, Jr. 


  1. Alan is always in our thoughts whether it's about fishing, hunting, or just the words on the blog. We'll pass on the corned venison as I don't hunt any more, but will celebrate St Patty's day as required by my Irish heritage.

  2. Thank you Alan for continuing the legacy of sharing.

  3. Hi Alan,

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with us all and thank you for continuing with the Blog.......

    Despite the almost vermin like numbers of deer, hunting is not so big here in the UK. However, I am sure I could adapt the recipe to some good local Yorkshire produce - much like I adapted the flies your Pops used to post up here!

    Take care and stay safe


  4. yes of course Alan Junior. Very interesting proposal and I am glad to know that you have learned a lot from Master Al... Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Thanks so much Al! Your father was pretty special. Hope to make this some day soon.

    And thank you for sharing this! Despite my frequent asking, he never gave it to me.

  6. I enjoyed your father's food pictures and comments as much as the ones on fishing. It was clear both were passions. I miss him - but never met him. That's the power of his blog.

  7. G'Day Alan Jr.
    Thanks for sharing your fathers Corned Venison recipe. Fly fishing small streams, hunting, food and the simple things of life were all part of the charm of " Small Stream Reflections ". Thank you, also, for continuing SSR . This is a wonderful and enduring tribute to such a good and decent man.
    With Kindest Regards,

  8. I look forward to opening day of hunting season as much as I do the opening of the fishing season. With a little luck, I'll be trying your father's recipe this fall. Thank you. His food pictures and comments were always a treat.

  9. Thanks Alan! this is great, hopefully ill get to try it out this fall!

  10. Thanks for this continuation of Small Stream Reflections, it is nice to learn more about Alan Sr. You are continuing in his footsteps nicely.
    Dave H.

  11. Salem prime cuts made a bunch of corned venison a couple of years ago. just incredible eating. thanks for sharing the recipe.

  12. Thanks for sharing another segment of Alan's life.

  13. Alan Jr. - Thank you for shairing your fathers legacy. You don't know how much I miss your father's blogs, He oviously was a very accompliched & gifted outdoorsman, along with being a special man...
    Hollen Groff

  14. Alan Jr.,
    A wonderful treat to see your Dad's recipe in his own handwriting! You have shared with us a small part of his life and who he was thru your narrative (beautifully done by the way!) above and for this we thank you! Your dad's legacy is something to behold and to cherish!
    Doug Duvall

  15. Thanks for sharing, I will be attentive waiting for more stories from Alan. It's great to see posts on Small Stream Reflections again.

  16. Me too Achalabrookies, I am hoping Alan and his wife and family are holding up. Missing his posts but you need to take the time you need to cope with these difficult life events.

  17. Let me be bold - is there a plan to carry this forward?