Thursday, February 16, 2012

Impressing Dinner Guests - with, yes, Venison!

Today is my "Friday" and in the Range neighborhood, folks don't want tofu, spray cheese (which, like any hazardous material in a can, should have written warnings on its use) or iceburg lettuce salad. They want FOOD (salad being what food eats!). I've probably lost my last vegetarian reader with this post, but venison, when prepared correctly is very tasty and can be quite tender.

My last deer harvested on a hunt with Og and company, was a doe. It was a long shot, the range of that Marlin with .357 pistol loads (you can't hunt with rifles in my state). She wasn't a youngster, but she wasn't all that big, though I didn't know that until the good clean shot was taken. That prompted my Dad, when seeing a photo of me and my deer to say in front of the whole family - "did you shoot a dog?" After enduring numerous cracks about the Whitetail Spaniel, people shut up after eating the prepared summer sausage and tenderloins that came from that bounty, a good 60 pounds of excellent meat to tide my house over for the winter months.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have on hand in your freezer, (or as a gift from a fellow hunter), a nice piece of venison (or yes, a chunk of good beef) this is a meal worthy of family or friends. The recipe comes from two members of the HOTR honorary Canadian division, father and son, Dad being long time friend and fellow sportsman Marty.

If you are ever in Langford BC, stop in at the excellent Fountain Diner and tip your hat to Marty's son, head chef Jesse Fischer who kindly shared his recipe (they're located at 2800 Bryn Maur Rd, in Langford, B.C.)

Venison Roast with Red Currant Jelly Sauce

Take one bone-in venison hip, this was a doe, very tender and succulent, 10-12 lbs. Line bottom of roasting pan with a basic mirepoix (a chopped mixture of onions, 50%, and celery and carrots at 25%, ). A note from B. - the finer you chop them the more aromatic they will be.

Chop 5 cloves garlic, and mix with 2 roughly chopped sprigs of rosemary and 1/4 c. of olive oil.

Place venison in roasting pan and coat with oil/herb mixture. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook at 400 F. for 45 min and then turn down to 300 for 2 hrs. until medium rare. Do not overcook! Remove venison from roasting pan and let rest 30 min.

Place the mirepoix and drippings into a sauce pan. Add 1 and 1/2 c red wine (HOTR recommends Malbec), place on stove and reduce by half. Strain to save the liquid. Julienne 10 small shallots and sauté in sauce pan until translucent. Add the saved liquid, 1/3 cup of red currant jelly and simmer 10 min.

Evening low light's not the best for a small camera, but it makes for a beautiful table.

Roast Potatoes

3 small skin on potatoes per person, washed and tossed with olive oil and 10 whole cloves garlic for the batch. Roast 30-45 min. at 400 F. until tender.

Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

Two whole medium tomatoes (your favorite, through yellow or orange heirloom ones make for a pretty dressing) washed, skin on. Cut in quarters, drizzle with olive oil (I added a sprinkle of summer savory to Jesse's fine recipe) and roast in 300 F. oven for 1 and a half to 2 hours (put in at same time as you turn down venison).

Cool and remove skin if desired, but not necessary. Combine with 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar and 1 cup olive oil. Process with boat motor. ;)

Serve over mixed green salad (no, not iceburg but good dark greens including wild greens if you can get them, iceburg lettuce has all the nutritional value of the USA Today newspaper).

See, a game dinner you'd be proud of. I had a haunch you'd like it :-)


  1. Yup, this one's going in my archives; it ought to be good for our black tails too. Thanks!

  2. All the venison I have left is in burger form, but I might be willing to try this with a good beef roast. I just happened to get a bottle of Malbec as part of my selection from the Terra Blanca Winery wine club this month.

  3. You had vegetarian readers after all this time? Boy, were THEY in the wrong place!

    That's some tasty-looking food, right there.

  4. I haven't been able to go hunting in a few years due to medical reasons. Looking at that venison makes me want to cry.

  5. Island Bob - it was really good.

    Greg - I've one pack of venison left now and it's burgers. It went fast.

    Rev Paul - they liked my writing, not the food posts, but I give them credit for being good readers through it all.

    BobG - Farmer Frank offers up his land to us to hunt when it's in corn. If you can get here, we'll get you out there, whatever it takes, if only to just join in on the food and fun.

  6. Perhaps my friend that has been out this year will send some Venison my way. I would like to try that recipe out!

  7. Red currants and lingonberries are seriously overlooked by most cooks. Tasty looking. Maybe with a haunch of buffalo? There is a local breeder here.

  8. I bet you Iceberg Lettuce has better copy than USAToday though...

  9. "salad being what food eats!" LOL :D

  10. The best ingredients, are always best served simply. And for me, venison is a best ingredient. And your looks simply wonderful. Yum!

  11. B,

    My compliments. You take some very good photos. In particular I like the fact that the roast actually looks moist and tender. I do not doubt your cooking skills; I just know how hard it can be to get a photo to come out that good. I wish I had been able to get those kinds of photos when I was a chef.

    Here’s a challenge for you. I have 3 sets of pronghorn tenderloins in my freezer. No, I didn’t manage to fill my elk tags this year, and I didn’t bother going deer hunting. The goats were hung and aged 10 days before processing, and are wonderful. What would you make the filets into?

  12. The only time I had a shoulder I smoked it on the grill. I thought it was pretty good, but this would be even better. You should publish a cookbook.

    BTW, took some of my ground venison and made meatballs, they were wonderful.

  13. Oh... Oh... sigh... that looks SO good!

  14. Great haunch! Oh, how I wish....But I enjoyed this vicariously. Thanks.

  15. *scribble, scribble**scribble*

  16. Looks awesome, in a carnivore-ey way.

    Saw this quotation on a website recently: "Meat is really just concentrated vegetables."

    I can work with that!!

  17. Res Ipsa - you're on.

    1 1/2 lbs. boneless Antelope loin

    Dry rub

    3 c. panko bread crumbs
    1 1/2 c. toasted pecans, roughly chopped
    2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    1 Tbsp. garlic powder
    1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper

    Porcini Cream Sauce

    2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
    2 qt. chicken stock
    1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
    3/4 c. heavy cream
    1 1/2 tsp. garlic
    1 tsp. thyme
    1 tsp. dry mustard

    Pulse dry rub ingredients in a foot processor.

    To make sauce, simmer dried mushrooms in stock in a large saucepan for 30 minutes.Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer for another 15 minutes.

    Cut tenderloin into 6 oz. portions and roll them in dry rub mixture. Bake at 400° for about 7 - 10 minutes, or until medium doneness. (you want no more than 130 F internal tempeature) Pour a little of the cream sauce on a plate, top with sliced antelope and a few crumbles of blue cheese if you wish.

  18. You don't know how welcome this is considering I think I have 5 of those things in the freezer and no idea what to do with them.

    So no marinade needed prior?

    Thank you!!!


    For your entertainment.

  20. I'll give your suggestion a try. I just took out some tenderloin out of the freezer. Tomorrow I'll give it a go and post the pics at my place.

  21. Oh yes, a freezer full of Whitetail and Axis. I really need to start using it. I like having that problem. :) Looks great.


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