Wednesday, February 23, 2011

the call of the wild

do you ever get tired of eating the same protein sources (beef, your mom, chicken, tuna...) over and over again?   why not try something different?  there are other healthy and flavorful options such as elk, venison, ostrich, and alligator.  

i dream of the day i can hunt/fish/grow all of my own food

and make my own fur bikinis...

i'm getting totally sidetracked here 

what was i saying?

over the coming weeks i will post a few tasty examples of how to create delicious dishes using exotic game.  enjoy!

venison ragù
venison is a non-farm produced animal, so it does not live on a diet of creepy antibiotics and steroids.  what's more, venison has a fraction of the fat found in beef.  try substituting ground venison for ground beef.  here is a recipe for a hearty, meaty sauce perfect for pouring over big, fat pappardelle pasta, polenta, or mashed potatoes. 

1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 lb ground venison
1/2 lb ground pork
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2 oz) can tomato sauce
1 cup beef stock
2 tsp sugar
squidge of taste no. 5 umami paste (epic, but optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream

heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  cook the bacon in the olive oil until it is brown and has rendered its fat, 4 to 5 minutes.  

this amazing bacon came from portland, me

 the elixir of the gods...bacon fat
add in the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. 

also known as the holy trinity in creole cuisine...amennnn

or mirepoix in french cuisine

add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

 smells amazing!
add the venison and pork, and cook, stirring until no loger pink.

bonk is drooling at my feet...

stir in the tomato paste and then add the red wine.  make sure to deglaze any yummy brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

i only use the finest 2 buck chuck from trader joe's

cook until half of the liquid has evaporated.  add the crushed tomatoes, the tomato sauce, beef stock, sugar, and squidge of umami paste.

flavour bomb indeed's all coming together

bring sauce to a boild and reduce heat to medium low.  simmer the sauce while stirring ocassionally.  the sauce should be thick and wonderful about 90 minutes later.


 add the cream and discard the bay leaves.


serve with garlic bread and a side of pleading bonk eyes. top with shredded parm.

ta daaaaa!

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