Monday, June 7, 2010

Venison Experiment

Last year, D and I were given a gift of venison meat cubes from a friend of D's who is a bow hunter. At that time, we were venison virgins and had no idea what we would do with the meat, or what to expect. I think we were both a little afraid of a "gamey" taste. We decided to do a tagine with it, and it's now one of our signature dishes. I wrote a blog entry about the recipe I adapted here.

This year, my new brother-in-law, also a hunter, brought over a bag of deer meat just before our May 1st wedding. We didn't have the time to look at it, much less do anything with it, before the wedding. We got a tagine as a gift, and the first thing I thought about was taking the venison out of the freezer and making a stew as our first tagine. When I defrosted it over the weekend, I realized to my dismay that what we'd been given was cutlets, which would certainly not work in the tagine. I'm not sure why I felt stymied by cutlets, but I did. I decided to marinate two servings of it in some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme and pop it back into the fridge until I could decide what to do.

I decided to cook it in a cast iron pan and top it with a black currant sauce with a side of sugar snap peas that I picked up at the Farmer's Market over the weekend. I couldn't find a black currant sauce that I liked, so I made this one up:

Black Currant Sauce

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup black currants
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups water

Sautee chopped onions until starting to brown. Add the brown sugar, cornstarch, and dry mustard. Stir for about a minute, add vinegar, currants, lemon juice, and water. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until thick. Turn the heat off and let cool for a bit. Blend 3/4 of the mixture in a blender and add back to the saucepan. Reheat and spoon over the meat when heated through.

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