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Posts Tagged ‘venison’

I recently made the Vension Medallions in Tangy Sauce from Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook that no kitchen should be without. It was actually very simple: marinate thick slices of venison loin in the juice of two lemons (I got to use my new lemon squeezer!), green peppercorns and thyme. Brown the medallions in butter and olive oil. Make a sauce from red wine, beef stock (or vension stock if you have it) and jam (recipe called for blackberry or plum, I happened to have a cabernet sauvignon jam from my CSA so that’s what I used) in the pan you browned the medallions in.

Venison Medallions in Tangy Sauce

It turned out amazing! Test Subject Bill still isn’t crazy about the gamey flavor of venison but I love it. So I ended up eating all the leftovers (more on that later). The sauce is a reduction of the wine, stock and jam. I thought it was going to take forever for the three cups of liquid (2 of stock and 1 of wine) to reduce down and it did take a while but not as long as I thought. I kept the browned medallions in a 200 degree oven to keep them warm while the sauce reduced. My goal was to keep them medium or medium rare and I was mostly successful. I really enjoyed this recipe; easy and delicious. What more do you want?

Venison Steak-and-Eggs

I served the medallions with mashed potatoes and turnip greens following this recipe. I’m not really a fan of the Neely’s per se, but it was worth a try. If I’d actually paid attention to the recipe the greens probably would have turned out better, too. Instead, when I added the dijon mustard I didn’t measure, I just squeezed it in and ended up putting in too much. Those were some TANGY greens, let me tell you. Fortunately, it made them stout enough to stand up to the strong flavor of the vension and they actually ended up going really well together. Serendipity!

Venison Steak Salad

It was a large loin piece that I used so we ended up with lots of leftover venison medallions. Not to worry – I had ideas. First, for lunch I used some salad greens and alfalfa sprouts from my CSA to make a bed for sliced venison. Drizzled some olive oil over it and called it good. Then for a breakfast, I had “steak” and eggs with more sliced venison medallions. Deer: it’s what’s for every meal!

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Since filling my freezer with deer meat generously donated to KKF from my new best friend, I have been busy conjuring and inventing and experimenting with venison. After my initial kung faux pas disappointment, I had success with venison chili, then scored a big win with the venison fried steak using some of the chuck steaks. Yesterday I made venison and bull burger meatballs using the ground deer and generally following this recipe from Allrecipes.com that turned out exceptionally well (more on that later).

This morning I knew I needed an easy dinner so I pulled a venison rump roast out of the freezer. After pawing around in the fridge and counter to see what else I had, I ended up with the following in the slow cooker:

½ medium sweet onion, sliced

½ medium fennel head, sliced

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

2 sprigs winter savory

3 small to medium sweet potatoes

About a 2 ½ lb. venison rump roast

A few slices of fatty bacon

Raw roast in the crock

I layered the onion and fennel on the bottom of the crock, laid the herbs on top, then the roast. I fit the potatoes in around the roast and laid the slices of fatty bacon on top of the roast. I did that for several reasons. First, my crock roasts often get a little dried out on top so I figured the bacon would help keep it moist. Second, it would flavor the roast as the bacon fat melted and rolled down the side. Finally, what gets WORSE when you put bacon on it??

I salted and peppered my creation and then poured about a third of a cup of beef stock that I made yesterday into the bottom. I let it rip for 7 hours on low, figuring at the end of the day I’d have a roast and some spuds.

Plate o' Joy

I have three words to describe what came out of the crock. Uh. Maze. Ing. The roast was tender and flavorful and not at all gamey. The bacon was slightly crisped on top. Wow. Even Test Subject Bill, who is usually indifferent to slow cooker food, was quite impressed and went back for seconds.

Observations: my experience with fennel is very limited. The narrow, round part of the fennel that goes up to the top came out tough and woody. Maybe you’re just not supposed to eat that part. Anyway, I know I won’t do it again. Also, I was too stingy with the salt. Bill is picky about salt levels so I typically season things light; this, however, tasted great with more salt. (Healthy sea salt, not iodized table salt. I use that for de-icing the sidewalk.)

Not only was this roast delicious, but with the pastured bacon that I cured and smoked myself, a deer that was running around in the Georgia countryside just weeks ago, and locally raised sweet potatoes and herbs from my CSA, it was nourishing for our bodies and our local community. That’s something that just doesn’t come with a bar code.

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KKF gets cookware for Christmas!

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

Mom's recipe

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.

Mushroom cloud popovers

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?

All of the other reindeer USED TO laugh and call him names.

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!”

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