Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fall Feast

It's fall here in Kansas City. The leaves have left their lofty perches high up in the tall oak trees. The squirrels, mindful of last winter's thick blankets of snow, are manic in their quest to bury all available acorns and nuts and fortify their leafy nests with even more insulation. It also means men of all ages and occupations set off into the woods to hunt. Wild game of all sorts is plentiful in the wood and fields of Missouri and Kansas and white tailed deer is certainly no exception. So when offered fresh meat from a recent hunt I jumped at the chance to fill my oven and my freezer.

Marinade venison

First I whipped out my vacuum sealer and dropped a huge venison loin in a mixture of soy sauce and brown sugar, sealed it up and let it have a good long soak overnight. All the other roasts and loins also were vacuum sealed and snuggled into the chest freezer. The next day I released the loin from it's bath and sliced it in half. I decided to roast one half wrapped in bacon. The other half I cut into chunks for stew. Venison is a very lean meat and adding a fat will help keep the meat from drying out.

wrapped venison loin 2

Enveloped in bacon and secured with tooth picks, the loin goes into a 350 degree oven for roughly twenty to thirty minutes depending on how rare or medium you enjoy your meat. I went twenty in the oven and then fifteen minutes on a hot grill to crisp up the bacon. Plus I like how the grill adds a bit of a smokey flavor.


A young visitor on a play date with my hounds gets her first smell of roasting venison. Looks like Bugbee likes it!

finished venison loin

moist venison loin

Who wouldn't? Look at that moist meat!

Venison potatoes

I quickly whipped up some rich scalloped potatoes to go with the moist venison. The meat was juicy with just a hint of sweetness that balanced out the venison flavor. It was a succulent feast and a wonderfully seasonal meal. My one regret was not making the cranberry and walnut dish I've got waiting in the wings for Thanksgiving. The flavor of the meat with the richness of the potatoes would have paired up wonderfully with the crunchy tang of the cranberries and rounded out the flavors of the entire dish. Still I'm thankful to the hunter for the wonderful opportunity to make this meal.


Making Space said...

Beautiful photos, beautiful (dare I say poetic?) text, makes me hungry.

Could that pup be any cuter????

Big Shamu said...

Bugbee is quite the little charmer, that's for sure.

Dani said...

Please marry me in my next life.

Melissa said...

That looks and smells amazing.

And yes, somehow, I was really able to smell it, too.

Susan said...

oh my gods !
oh my gods !
oh my gods !

talk about your freakin' food porn

and right back at ya xos

+ please refer to bacon lover's package if I was not a broke & starving designer/illustrator I would be shipping you this baby, toute friggin' suite.

Big Shamu said...

Dani lets hope I don't snore as much in my next life as I do in this one.

Melissa, from where you live you probably could especially if the wind is just right.

Susan, now you know venison is fairly heart healthy however adding all that bacon kicked it back into heart unhealthy decadence. If there's a silver lining to your life as a starving artist it's that I won't be gobbling up the porky deliciousness you might be sending and sending even more fat into my veins.

moi said...

I'm on the next plane over. Body-search be damned.

Dani said...

Can you share the scalloped potato recipe?

Syd said...

Believe it or not, my redneck ass usually won't eat venison. I like it, if I don't know what it is though. However, I'm certain that I would eat that ENTIRE bacon wrapped loin, with full knowledge of what it is.

I know, I'm weird. But, holy SHIT that looks good.

And I'm totally envious of your vacuum sealer.

Big Shamu said...

Dani, buttered the little cast iron cooking vessel, sliced a russet potato really thin, put in a layer of potatoes topped by a little bit of salt, topped with thin layer of butter, topped by shredded emanthaler cheese, then repeated that order until the top which ended wtih cheese. Then I poured in heavy cream until I could see it almost reach the top (but not too close don't want it to bubble out too much) then baked in an 350 oven until brown and bubbly. I think next time I'll use yukon golds for a more tender result.

Syd, never doubt the power of bacon. I love my vacuum sealer.

LaDivaCucina said...

Sham, you know how to cook venison! It's like kangaroo, heavy on the muscle and lean without a lot of fat so many people dry it out and it comes out tough. Good job.