Older cookbooks have all the good strong basics - I asked my Grandma to send me a betty Crocker cookbook after I moved to Finland 23 years ago. I still have that beat up paperback and still use it - for the most part for some times of things but there are wonderful simple things that can be made. I use the banana bread recipe and a few others. I also do like cookbooks and have several from different parts of the world. If anyone would like to try a few things with deer meat the Finnish recipes for reindeer will work fine.
One of my favorite Finnish dishes is 'poronkäristys' (poro is reindeer in Finnish). Käristys - the literal translation is fry - but this is not fried reindeer. There are two main ways that Finns cook reindeer (keep in mind that reindeer is a farmed animal in the far north - like we farm cattle here).
When the reindeer is slaughtered the best solid parts of the meat - the 'filet mignon' and the roast (rump roast) parts are cut out and set aside. Then all the 'chuck' parts of the meat are brought out and set aside and cut up. This chuck meat is what is used for the 'poronkäristys'. This is all small pieces of meat with some little bit of fat (reindeer don't have much fat). Meat form the ribs will also be included here.
This meat is first simply fried to seal it's flavor in - and it may be fried with a little onion. It is fried ONLY to brown it. Then it goes into a kettle (a cast iron pot is great - you can cook it over a fire) Add water - any extra herbs you like - all sorts of variations now come into play because it is essentially a stew. Finns serve this with mashed or boiled potatoes, it's own gravy and berries
Remember those other two parts? The rump roast part and the filet mignon part - the rump roast part is used for reindeer roast beef. The filet mignon part is used for - you got it - reindeer filet mignon steaks. :P
The Saami people live in the far north above the Arctic Circle and are primarily reindeer herders. They made their food simple - they didn't have crockpots (and still don't). I do have my grandma's cast iron dutch oven and, cooked over a wood fire, deer or reindeer cooked this way is absolutely fantastic. Just leave it over the fire for a couple hours.