Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Texas Venison" is a Homerun!

There really is something to be said for harvesting your own wild game and processing it yourself from the time you take it until the time you eat it. I know, I know, "but you killed Bambi," you say with a tear in your eye and your bottom lip pooched out in abject sadness. Yes, I killed a deer. Yes, Bambi was a deer. No, my deer was not named Bambi. Furthermore, the deer that I "brutally slaughtered" was no more innocent than the cow from which that delicious cheeseburger or rib-eye steak came from that you enjoyed so thoroughly last night. Now that that's out of the way and we have established that I, Christian Herring, have no heart let's move on to the subject at hand, Texas Venison!

First let me say that this was not an original recipe, it was one that I found on Allrecipes.com and I am very glad for it. If you know anything about venison you understand that sometimes it can be, how shall we say this, less than tender. Not so with Texas Venison. Putting it in the pressure cooker is just what the doctor ordered and this venison comes out so tender that it just falls apart with an ever so slight urging from your fork. So, how did we get this amazing, tender, mouthwatering venison? I'm about to tell you.

Before I get into the cooking and, more importantly, the eating of let me give you a link to the recipe.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/texas-venison/detail.aspx

To begin with you will notice that the recipe calls for two pounds of "venison steaks." I'm sure any cut would do just fine but I'm convinced that part of our success lies in that fact that we used tenderloin (backstrap) meat both times we've made this dish. Thus, that would be my recommendation.

Look at the deep, rich color of that meat! Emmmm.

Let me also say that this recipe is NOT complicated or difficult in any way. Perhaps the most difficult thing was browning the meat and sauteing the onions. After those two steps are complete you just put everything in the pressure cooker and let it rip for about 15 minutes. One thing I will note is that venison is a VERY lean meat and after browning it I needed to add a small amount of vegetable oil to the pot to saute the onions in. There simply weren't any "drippins' from the meat.

Browning the meat in the pressure cooker with some oil.

Sauteing the onions with the cumin.


Post pressurization.
Finished product

We served this dish with rice as the base for the stew along with some homegrown green peas and cornbread. You could certainly use mashed potatoes for the base and add any number of other side dishes to round out the meal to your taste. As I already mentioned the meat is super tender and the use of a knife would be for formality only. The use of cumin gives the sauce a very rich taste and the addition of the cayenne peppers adds a nice kick to the flavor profile.

The first time we made Texas venison we had some friends over to the house who brought their two young boys and we acted like we were eating "stew beef." This turned out to be a pointless ruse because they weren't phased by eating deer. However, one of their statements acts as a telling review:

Aaron: "This is the best beef stew I've ever had. You should sell it and make a bunch of money."

So, if you're looking for an alternative venison recipe to the traditional deer roast give this a shot. It is easy, quick and it melts in your mouth.

Rating: That's good chow!

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