Friday, February 15, 2008

Venison Recipe

Venison Bourguignonne

(I prepare this wine stew using all the tough pieces I trim off the shoulder and
lower haunches. It’s based on the Beef Bourguignonne recipe from the Joy of
Cooking, with some alterations. This wonderfully rich and luscious dish
tastes even better if you can cook it ahead of time and let it sit for a few days.)
2 pounds boneless venison shoulder meat
Place meat in a large glass or ceramic bowl and add:
2 C. dry red wine ¼ C. olive oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped 1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped 1 bay leaf
2 T. chopped fresh parsley ½ t. dried thyme
1 t. pepper ½ t. salt
Stir to combine and coat the meat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator
for 1 hour to 24 hours, turning the meat occasionally. Drain the beef and
pat dry. Strain the marinade and reserve it and the vegetables separately.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add and brown:
4 oz. bacon, diced
Remove the bacon and place on paper towels to drain. In the bacon grease
(if there is not at least 2 tablespoons, add vegetable oil), add the venison in
batches and brown on all sides. This will likely require at least three batches.
Don’t overcrowd the pan or the meat will simmer and not brown—and brown
(though not burned) is what you want at this stage. Remove meat and add the
reserved vegetables and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in:
2 T. flour
Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in the marinade, then return the venison and
bacon to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered,
until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. (Another option is to preheat
the oven to 275 degrees when browning the meat, and then put the pot in
the oven for 2 hours). Add:
8 oz. mushrooms, quartered.
Cover and cook 20 minutes. Add:
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley Salt and pepper to taste
Serve with egg noodles, rice, or boiled potatoes.
Doe Neck Pot Roast
(This produces the most flavorful venison I’ve ever tasted. Unlike many pot
roast recipes, mine calls for braising the meat in browned, finely chopped
vegetables, which I then puree to make the gravy. Add larger vegetables during
the last few minutes to keep them from becoming mushy. This recipe
works best with smaller deer or pronghorn necks as well as the traditional
shoulder roasts from any big game animal.)
Preheat oven to 275°.
Season with salt and pepper:
Deer or pronghorn neck
Heat in large skillet or Dutch oven:
4 T. lard or vegetable oil
Add neck roast and brown on all sides, about 20 minutes.
Remove roast to a plate. Add:
2 C. finely chopped onions ½ C. finely chopped celery
½ C. finely chopped carrots
Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they begin to color, about
5 minutes. Add:
1 C. beef stock or dry red wine
Bring to boil. Add:
1 bay leaf ½ t. dried thyme
Return roast to pan and cover. Make sure there is always at least 1 inch of
liquid in pot and add more if needed. Cook in oven for 2 to 3 hours, removing
and turning roast occasionally. Add:
1 C. carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
Cook for 5 minutes. Remove roast and carrots and set aside while making
the gravy. Pour pan liquid and finely chopped vegetables into a blender and
puree for 3 minutes. Return to pot. Add cooked carrots and:
1 C. frozen peas
Bring to simmer. Meanwhile, the neck roast will have cooled enough to pick
the meat off the bone. Serve the meat and the vegetable gravy over egg
noodles or boiled potatoes.
Mediterranean Venison Shanks
(This derivation of the Joy of Cooking’s braised lamb shanks recipe is a bit
sweeter and spicier, and I add fat to compensate for the lean venison shanks.
The recipe calls for a wild mix of spices, but don’t get nervous: There’s nothing
here you can’t find at your local supermarket. Unlike lamb shanks, deer
and elk shanks are too large to fit in a pan. I cut them in pieces or fillet the
shank meat off the bone before cooking. Don’t worry that the meat is encased
in hard tissue casings. The slow, moist-cooking method will melt the tissue
off the meat and produce tender chunks of savory venison.)
Preheat oven to 275°.
2 deer shanks or 1 elk shank
Season meat with:
1 t. salt ½ t. pepper
½ t. ground ginger ½ t. paprika
Mix in a bowl and set aside:
1 t. dried or 1 T. fresh mint 1 t. paprika
1 t. ground coriander 1 t. ground cumin
½ t. black pepper ¼ t. ground ginger
pinch of ground cinnamon ¼ t. ground allspice
Heat in a Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet over high heat:
2 T. oil
Add half the shank meat and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove,
add more oil, and brown the remaining meat. The smell of sautéed casing
tissue is unpleasant but will disappear once braising begins. Add:
2 onions, thinly sliced 2 T. chopped garlic
Reduce heat to medium and cover and cook, stirring often, until onions are
soft. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Stir well to coat onions. Add:
2 C. beef stock 1 C. dry red wine
1⁄3 C. tomato puree
Bring to boil. Return venison to pan, cover, and bake for 90 minutes. Add:
2 C. 1-inch carrot pieces 1 C. dried figs, chopped
2 C. diced, peeled butternut or Hubbard squash
Cover and bake 15 minutes more. Remove meat and vegetables. Add:
2 T. lemon juice ½ t. cayenne pepper
2 t. dried mint (or 3 T. of fresh) 1 can garbanzo beans
Pour sauce over meat and vegetables and serve over couscous (a delicious
North African granular pasta available in most Montana grocery stores),
white rice, or boiled potatoes. Top with a dollop of sour cream.
Venison Stroganoff
(Ken Geoff ’s version of the famous Russian stew is easy and delicious. Serve
with warm bread for sopping up the flavorful sour cream gravy afterward.)
Preheat oven to 300°.
Mix:Salt and pepper into 1½ C. flour
In seasoned flour, dredge:
1½ pounds trimmed shoulder meat, cut into ¾-inch cubes
Heat in a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven:
1 T. butter or light cooking oil
When butter or oil is foaming but not yet smoking, add coated meat in
batches and brown on all sides, cooking roughly 2 minutes per batch.
Remove meat from pan and add more oil and butter. Then add:
¾ C. thinly sliced onion
Saute 2 minutes until softened. Stir in:
1½ C. sliced mushrooms
Cook 2 minutes. Stir in:
1 T. tomato paste or ½ C. tomato puree
1½ C. beef stock or broth
Pinch salt and pepper
Add meat to pan. Add enough water to cover meat. Bring to boil. Cover
with lid. Bake in oven 1½ hours. Remove from oven. Stir in:
3 T. sour cream 2 T. butter
Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.