When I was a kid, one of my favorite breads was popovers. Mom reminded me of how I used to sit in front of the oven and watch them puff and grow. I must have been good this year because Santa (Mom!) gave me a popover pan for Christmas. Popovers were immediately added to the Christmas Dinner menu.
I had Mom send me a recipe and I pulled one off of Allrecipes.com. I remembered
from years ago that the pan was hot when we poured in the batter, something that was unclear on the old photocopied recipe Mom sent over (but it called for butter or bacon fat, which is awesome). The Allrecipes recipe did specify that. So I sort of combined the two, using the ingredients list from Mom and the baking instructions from Allrecipes.
They puffed up HUGE. They were like giant bready snow cones. They came out of the oven all crunchy on the outside and soft and airy/holey in the the middle, just like they should be. I immediately ate two. January is for behaving.
Next on the list was another attempt at deer meat. A hunter friend of mine kindly provided us with cuts from a whole deer that he bagged. (I traded some of my home canned goods – what a deal!!) So far I made some chili with the ground and attempted a marinated venison broccoli stir-fry. The chili rocked. The stir-fry…eh…we ate it, anyway. A 4 or 5 on the kung faux pas scale.
With resolve to do right by that animal next time around, I thought of the pork schnitzel I made not too long ago. Perfect. I love using my heavy metal pounder and that will be super yummy. As I further contemplated, I decided to make it like chicken fried steak with a peppery white sauce.
I cut the meat off roughly a pound of venison chuck steaks. These are kind of tricky. Cutting around the bone is ok, but there’s some connective tissue that sort of segments the meat. Since Test Subject Bill has trouble with that kind of stuff (and I’m not too crazy about it myself) I cut around the tissue as well as the bone. This makes it difficult to get portions that are of decent size. So I ended up with a one large, a few medium and a number of small chunks.
After pounding them down good with the spiky side of my kitchen pounder, I dipped them in an egg wash (one large egg + about a table spoon of water, beaten together) and pressed panko bread crumbs all over the portions. Then this is the best part: I pan fried them in bacon drippings. Can I get an amen??
While the cuts were frying up into deer-y, bacon-y deliciousness, I made a simple white sauce of ¼ c butter, about 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon sea salt and 1 ½ cups of milk, then stirred in a good amount of freshly cracked pepper. It made too much sauce but who cares. I can put it on broccoli tomorrow, right?
It looked beautiful plated up with some steamed green beans, and the taste was heavenly! You could definitely tell it wasn’t beef, and it had a richness of flavor that really seemed displayed, rather than covered up, by the cream sauce. The two of us ate almost all of it. To quote Bill, “I think we have a winner here!”