Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oh Deer!!

Earlier in the week, I spent the evening 'breaking down' a deer.  It came from a kill that my brother in law made during the season and I skinned and cleaned it myself!!  I broke down most of it then, but I froze one hind and one front leg quarter, until now.  I spent the evening trimming and grinding, bagging and  processing the venison with an antique grinder and my food processor.  I know some of you cringe at the idea, but any chef/exceptional cook must be comfortable in all areas of the art.  It is important to realize that basically, no matter what the animal, cows, pigs, lamb, venison, etc... parts like the loins and roasts and tenderloins would be located in the same place.  The venison was great practice for other animals in the future.  Venison, if you haven't tried it, can be a very delicious protein if done properly.  They provide excellent lean protein and iron.  Venison can however, be very tough and 'wild' tasting, so care must be taken in regard to soaking and tenderizing.  When prepared well, Venison tastes very much like ground beef and can act as a substitution for virtually any dish with ground beef.  If such a substitution should take place, it is important that you inform your consumers as it is the ethical thing to do.
Sometimes stigmas can interfere with someone trying something out of their norm like venison.  The Indians were consuming venison when the Pilgrims arrived. The Indians turned the Pilgrims on to the hotness!! Venison helped save some of our ancestors from starvation.  Amidst the jokes about West Virginia roadkill and Po' folks food, lies a rich history and connection to the earth.  Venison is a sustainable part of wildlife and an inexpensive one at that.  Besides, I'm sure they've taken out a fender, hood, door or windshield or two of yours or someone you know and love.  Quintessentially, it's payback, and everyone knows that it can be  a real B@TCH!:)

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