Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Best Venison is the Simplest

     I grew up in a hunting family.  I spent the majority of my younger years watching wild game, mostly venison, cooked in a variety of ways that I often thought was to disguise or cover the natural taste.  Covered with bacon, gravy, fried in deep fat, pressure cooked, etc.  Although each of these methods has its place and can be delicious, I always thought it was too labor intensive to disguise what should be a wonderful meal.  Don't change the flavor, celebrate it.  Find methods and ingredients that complement the flavor.  I have spent over 27 years perfecting several recipes that take advantage of the flavor of venison and use it to create some remarkable dishes.  These are often based on recipes used for other meats every day.  My favorite recipe is one I adapted from a recipe my mother used to roast round or flank steak when we were kids.  This recipe works very well for cuts of venison such as flank, round, flat iron, or any other cut not from the backstrap.  It is not only delicious, but incredibly simple to make.  The red wine has an almost magical tenderizing power as the meat is roasting.  Follow this and I promise you will have a cut of steak that can be enjoyed fork tender! 

1-2 pounds of venison steak (any cut)
1 cup red wine
1/2 sliced onion
1 cup mushrooms
2 cups crushed cracker crumbs/flour
2 eggs or 3/4 cup eggbeaters
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Lay the venison steaks on a cutting board, sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning, and pound to tenderize.  Set aside for about an hour.  Preheat oven to 350.  Pour olive oil into a large skillet and heat to medium.  Dip venison steaks into the egg mixture and then in to the cracker/flour mixture to coat with breading.  Place into skillet and brown both sides, but do not cook thoroughly.  When done place steaks into greased baking dish (I use PAM).  Cover with the sliced onion, mushrooms, and top with the red wine.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Top baking dish with aluminum foil and place in oven for 90 minutes.  No stirring or checking is required.  When done uncover, let the steam escape, and serve with nearly anything:  potatoes, rice, vegtables, pasta......anything.  For this meal I served 'sour cream smashed Yukon Gold taters' with cream corn.