Living the Family Business – Part 2
– Beckie Jones, EDN
In Part One of this story we introduced you to Scott, Tiffany, Braxton and Kazden Haugen a unique and close family that has turned their love of the outdoors and hunting into a flourishing international media business. Having traveled the world and hunted game in places most of us have only read about may lead one to think of the Haugens as trophy hunters, but nothing could be further from the truth.
As well known as Scott is for his hunting prowess and wisdom, Tiffany is equally well known for her books; her cookbooks. With recipes like Spring Bear Stroganoff, Kale Smoothies and Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Bread, these aren’t Rachel Ray style cookbooks, no offense to Rachel. Tiffany has nine books to her credit, covering everything from smoking game meats (Smoke It), to plank cooking (Plank Cooking), to her latest offering on how to use highly nutritious alternative flours called The Power of Flour. The entire family may bring home the bacon as it were, but Tiffany is the expert when it comes to “frying it up in a pan”.
Looking around the giant room in the family’s home, stuffed with bears, deer, antelope, rams, lions, a zebra, a peacock and several things most of us would have a hard time naming,
Tiffany said, “We’ve eaten just about everything that’s in here.”
It’s important to the Haugens that they only hunt what they’re going to eat.
“That’s what we live off of. I don’t buy any domestic meat unless I’m doing recipe development or somebody wants pork tenderloin or something,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany develops her own recipes, from quick and easy to gourmet. But it’s not all about meat for her. A purist and a health nut, Tiffany’s blog and books include recipes for berry syrups, pickles, salsas and vegetarian cooking. She also writes about properly canning and freezing meats, vegetables, fruits and sauces. Tiffany often works out of the family’s kitchen, doing recipe development for her upcoming cookbooks. Her kids and neighbors are her taste-testers, and she serves dinner several different ways most nights.
“We’re very fortunate to be able to just shop in the freezer – Elk, deer, game bird, pheasant, quail, chuckers, ducks, geese. This meat is organic, it’s free-range. It’s the best stuff for your body,” Tiffany said. The family does all their own preparation, too.
“When you butcher it yourself, you’re the only one who’s touched it. When it comes time for cooking, you might have to add a little olive oil, but at least you’re adding a healthy fat, because most game is real lean meat. It’s nice to know that you did it all,” Tiffany said. “Don’t go buy chicken if you’ve got venison in your freezer. Use it up. Even if you’re eating deer every night of the week, you can eat it so many different ways. We’re fortunate to have so much variety (here in western Oregon).” Tiffany said.
The dinner table conversation the family’s livelihood provides often centers on what it is they’re eating – Mom’s elk, Braxton’s zebra or Kazden’s wildebeest from Africa.
“So that becomes the favorite. Everybody at the dinner table is like, ‘Whose deer is this? or ‘Whose bear?’ It’s neat because they’ll try anything.” Tiffany said.
One of Tiffany’s favorite recipes mimicks the “turducken,” where a chicken is stuffed inside of a duck which is stuffed inside of a turkey. Tiffany puts her own spin on it with “turk-pheas-quail,” or something to that effect, and she packs sausage cornbread stuffing in between each layer of bird.
“It was incredibly moist. It was the most amazing meat you’ve ever tasted. I wanted to put in a hummingbird, but it’s not legal to get those,” Tiffany laughed.
When they first tried zebra, “None of us wanted to like it, but it was so tender. You know when you get prime rib and it’s just fork-tender? That’s how it tasted,” Tiffany said.
“Minus the fat,” Scott added.
Aside from the zebra, some of the more exotic catches have included lions, rhinos and peacocks. Despite the family’s adventurous tendencies and taste buds, there’s one type of meat Tiffany has no plans to feature in her cookbooks any time soon. Recently, Braxton came home from a men’s get-together at their church, announcing he just tasted the best meat of his life.
For more information on the Haugen family business: