Sunday, July 20, 2008

Born To Be Wild

One of my coworkers -- someone I help out occasionally by procuring cases of "Three-Buck-Chuck" Charles Shaw wine when we travel to Ann Arbor and shop at Trader Joe's -- recently gifted me with several packages of venison from last fall's hunt. Included was a pack of two steaks; unlike the usual small medallions, these were the size of pork steaks, with round bones.

We were all ready to marinate and grill these, but the weather has been so iffy today that we decided not to attempt charcoal cooking. Instead I braised the steaks: I lightly floured/seasoned and pounded them, then browned them in olive oil; I removed them from the pan briefly and added sliced onions, a very thinly sliced carrot and two large cloves of garlic, minced, sauteeing them in the pan drippings and scraping up the browned bits from the venison. When the onion was soft I returned the venison to the pan and added a can of low-sodium beef broth, a couple of tablespoons of minced fresh herbs from the garden (thyme, savory, marjoram and just a sprig of rosemary) and -- secret ingredient -- about a quarter cup of dried mushrooms soaked in dry sherry to cover. (I found the dried mushrooms at the on-site farm market at Blackstar Farms winery in Suttons Bay -- they're grown by some outfit downstate. They're really not terribly expensive, and a little go a long way, especially if they're crumbled first.) I turned up the heat, brought the liquid to boil, then turned it down to medium and braised the meat for about a half hour.

I served this with a wild-rice/multicolored rice blend from the food coop, made like a pilaf by sauteeing green onion and celergy, adding the rice and stirring it around a bit, then adding seasoned water and thyme and cooking until the liquid was all absorbed; before serving I added maybe a quarter cup of quartered sweet cherries I borrowed from Fellow Traveler's jam-making supplies and some sweet-salty sliced almonds. I also had some great Swiss chard from the Midland Farmer's Market that I sauteed in garlicky olive oil, then splashed with balsamic vinegar before serving.

This was very tasty, and really didn't take all that long. (The rice can be made ahead of time.)

We love our Sunday dinners. This one was a bit on the exotic side, but still "cozy."


ProclaimingSoftly (PSanafter-thought) said...

You didn't learn that in your mother's kitchen!

LutheranChik said... My mother would have called a meal like this "Too much Klarei."