image sifu renka
It sucks living in the city sometimes. The drawbacks if you are an adventurous meat eater is you won’t usually find fresh wild meat. The last time I truly had fresh wild game meat was when I was in my early 20’s. My Mom’s friend went hunting and gave us a few cuts of the deer he shot. It was great while it lasted, as our fridge and freezer was filled with deer meat. That’s what I’m going to cover today, deer meat, or more commonly called venison.
All I can find is frozen stuff that was most likely farm raised and lack any really natural and raw taste of wild meat. Got it at my local specialty store, and it was just frozen venison medallions tightly sealed. Yuck! But that’s the trade offs when you live in the city. It’s very pricey and comes out to around $15 a pound.
Thawed that piece of venison in the fridge two days before before I cut it open. Nothing really initially special about it other than the smell of thawed meat with a stronger smell of minerals. No noticeable marbling of the meat, but that is to be expected as venison is a lean meat. That’s why you usually see bacon or some other dark sauce accompany it to give it some fatty taste.
I cook it in one of my favorite quick ways and it’s to pan fry it in a cast iron skillet. Sear that baby up, hear the sizzle with some grapeseed oil and a little dash of salt and we’re good to go. It gives a nice flavorful outside, while keeping the insides medium rare for the most natural flavors.
I ate one of the medallions without adding anything other than the salt and oil I sprinkled on it. It’s actually very good and has a slight noticeable difference that you know it’s not beef. It’s got a more robust and stronger taste, so it’s easy to eat this and pair it with a strong drink like red wines or dark ales. The taste isn’t gamey or minerally like a wild deer that Uncle Rufus just shot, so it’s not like you licked a penny, but maybe like the smell of a few pennies on the dinner table if that makes any sense.
The other medalions, I just sliced and poured some wine and fruit jam glaze over it. The rosemary added a nice sense to the dish and was a nice compliment. Amazing how much more effort I will put into the presentation when I spent a lot of money for an expensive piece of meat. I’m sure a dish like this at some upper mid-end restaurant would easily charge me $25.
I keep mentioning being a city person, because my friend Eric would tell me stories of how his dad use to shoot deer all the time when he was a kid. Notice I said shoot and not hunt. He lived in the backwoods area and they had deer just walking around the front of their house many times, and back then it, you could shoot them without much thought. They had venison all the time!
The question right now is, would I spend this much again to get the same quality I got? Most likely not, as I would just get a nice fresh beef cut and enjoy it more, and have a bigger serving. Like any novel dish for a city person, it’s just one of those things you have to try occasionally.
Soooo….do you need a little venison snack? I’m kidding 🙂