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#1108 - A Primer on Venison
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October 30, 2012 #1108 A Primer on Venison
As a boy, I loved hearing stories about Robin Hood and his Merry Men, sitting around their Sherwood Forest campfires wolfing down platters of roast venison. I didn't have clue what roast venison tasted like, but I figured it had to be pretty bold and savory stuff. Decades later, I can say that I had it right.
And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Waterfront Kitchen knows, you can still harvest your deer with longbow and arrow, but there are easier ways of getting it.
Jerry's favorite source these days is Highbourne Farm, just across the line in PA. Highbourne specializes in red deer, as opposed to the feral white-tail we all know. Red deer are larger and meatier, and if kept under a controlled feeding regimen, will have superior flavor. Deer pretty much has all the familiar cuts that beef does, but Jerry has his favorites: t-bone steaks, tenderloin and deer shanks for venison osso bucco.
Another favorite things is to make venison jerky, a staple of the American frontier.
Spicy and Sweet Venison Jerky
(I like the contrast of heat and sweet when you make this jerky. Feel free to go as heavy on the hot as you can handle!)
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of molasses
- 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
- 6 lbs venison loin or roasted sliced into ¼ inch pieces
Combined all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and place the pan in an ice bath. Cool the marinade down as quickly as possible with occasional stirring.
Place the venison in a few zip lock bags and evenly distribute the marinade throughout the bags. Seal and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Place a cookie sheet on the lower rack of an oven set at 160 degrees F. Lay the strips of venison on the rack above the cookie sheet so they are not touching.
Allow to dehydrate for 24 hours or until the desired consistency has been achieved.
Store in a covered container at room temperature.