The Great Outdoors


(Yep, that’s the name of it; now you have a new word to add to your vocabulary.)
I ran across this interesting recipe/name in a cookbook sent to me from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. Apparently it’s a dish that is quite popular out that way. They say in their book that it is, “Deer, antelope, or other wild game meat cubed into small pieces and deep fired in oil. It is served up with salt, pepper, garlic salt, crackers, and chips.” Sounds plain doesn’t it? At the end of the recipe it says it goes good with beer. Now, with that they’ve caught my interest.
I looked Chislic up on the internet and here’s some of what I found: “Chislic is a little bit of a mystery — it does not show up in any of our food dictionaries or the other reference books we turn to regularly. We’ve found a few recipes, but can’t pinpoint the origin of the dish.”
It appears that Chislic is simply red meat cut in cubes and deep-fried. The only seasonings are salt and pepper. The information we have implies that it was originally a hunter’s preparation and called for deer, antelope, or other wild game. Other recipes we’ve found specify beef or sheep.
Chislic is literally unheard of outside of South Dakota. Wow…sort of like that Vegas saying only it‘s: “What happens in South Dakota stays in South Dakota.” When it comes to Chislic, that might be okay.
Chislic is a dish that varies in definition from region to region (of South Dakota). In the Pierre area if you ask for Chislic you will most often get a marinated meat, dipped in batter and deep fat fried. This local delicacy started showing up in the 1970s at Rocky Mountain Oyster Feeds as an alternative for those who did not like to eat calf testicles (GOOD CALL), which were also dipped in batter and deep fat fried. The marinades vary and are often family secrets.
In the Sioux Falls area…it is a bar food that goes very well with beer (BONUS). It is served with garlic salt, soda crackers and Tabasco sauce.
In the southeastern South Dakota communities of Menno and Freeman, Chislic is invariably lamb, but wild game Chislic, such as venison, does appear when in season.
It is traditionally seasoned with garlic salt and eaten with soda crackers. The same dish is also served grilled when prepared for large groups…the grilled variety is sometimes cooked with a brushing of barbecue sauce.”
And, there are apparently many food festivals in South Dakota featuring Chislic.
I like to cut venison (beef if I’m out of deer meat) in 1/2 to 1-inch cubes, season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sauté them in olive oil. I then drain the oil and pour in my favorite BBQ sauce. I put on the lid and simmer the meat mixture until it’s tender or I can’t stand it any longer. I serve it up using toothpicks; this saves on washing silverware.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer