Friday, April 28, 2017

Venison Tartare

Steak tartare is dish made of raw minced meat mixed with fresh herbs, spices and a raw egg yolk on top. It's usually served on crostini as an appetizer-- crackers aren't the same, I tried it-- and is tasty with a glass of red wine. When you cut into the yolk, it creates a velvety sauce that adds a much-needed richness to the lean meat. Additions such as shallots, mustard, parsley, lemon, capers and freshly cracked pepper impart a fresh, pungent bite.

Some of you are probably looking at this and thinking: "Ew." It's not for everyone. Rick wouldn't touch it-- he doesn't find eating raw meat and eggs particularly appetizing, but I was perfectly happy to eat it all by myself-- a little raw meat every once in awhile adds excitement to my life. And it was also a fun opportunity for me to photograph this pretty dish with the woodland violets I've collected in the woods. We've been doing lots of morel mushroom hunting and woodland violets are a common sight this time of year. They don't really have a taste, but they do pretty up dishes and salads quite nicely. And try to use farm fresh eggs-- they look and taste much better than mass produced grocery store eggs. I used eggs from my friends Bre and Dave who keep their own chickens.

Of course there are health risks if your meat and eggs are not top quality. However, if you know that your meat was properly handled and your eggs came from a good source, you should be fine. Never use venison from a deer that was shot in the gut, though. I used Hank Shaw's recipe as a base for mine, and he offers a great guide to making venison tartare on his website: http://honest-food.net/venison-tartare-recipe/

I also took an extra precaution. I salted the venison prior to placing it in the freezer to firm up, and then rinsed off the salt before mincing the meat. The salt kills bacteria present on the meat's surface. 

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:
- 1/2 pound venison loin
- Kosher salt
- Half a shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of juniper berries, toasted and ground
- Himalayan sea salt, to taste
- Coarse ground pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Grated zest of half a lemon
- Woodland violet flowers for garnish, optional
- 2 egg yolks
- Capers
- French bread, buttered and toasted

Directions:

1. Trim off any silver skin and fat on venison. Cover liberally with the kosher salt and set in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, soak minced shallot in red wine vinegar. When venison is firm, rinse salt off the the venison and pat dry with paper towels. With a sharp knife, finely dice the meat. Transfer meat to a bowl and keep cold.

2. Drain shallots and combine with minced meat, ground juniper berries, Himalayan sea salt to taste, coarse ground pepper, chopped parsley, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Taste for seasoning. 

3. Divide meat into two serving bowls and make a depression in each. Lay an egg yolk into each bowl and garnish with lemon zest and woodland violets. Serve with capers and thinly sliced buttered, toasted French bread.

 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

BBQ Wild Turkey and Kimchi Sandwich

Pulled pork sandwiches are boring without the tangy crispiness of coleslaw, but when my butcher mentioned that he likes kimchi on his sandwiches, I thought he was a genius! What’s kimchi, you ask? Think of kimchi as the sauerkraut of Korea, except it’s colorful, spicy, and bursting with flavor, and tastes brilliant with the sweetness of BBQ. But we don’t have weeks or months to wait for real kimchi to ferment, so I offer a quick kimchi recipe below. Or you can find it premade in jars in many Asian grocery stores and on Amazon, as well as the coarse red pepper flakes (gochugaru) needed to make this iconic Korean side dish from scratch.  

What we have here isn’t pulled pork, thoughit’s wild turkey, which dries out easily, so braising it is a good way to keep the breast moist. This is a dish best made the night before. Make the kimchi and let it marinate overnight. Then pop the turkey into the slow cooker before you go to bed or before you go to work and it will be ready in a few hours. With just 1 breast from a big tom, we were able to get about 8 sandwiches. Use 2 breasts to double the servings.  

To view the recipe, visit: http://outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=51490&articletype=article&key=bbq-wild-turkey-and-kimchi-sandwich-recipe
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