This is one of those super helpful posts that honestly you will never need to have read.
The kind that if I was any good at all at journalling or diary-ing or even updating my recipe folder I would just do that.
But I'm not.
And I worked out what blogger's labels are and I've fallen a little bit in love with them so you get to be party to me remembering this recipe or rather cooking tip.
Oh deer.... deery me..... dear deer.....
K's boss likes to hunt.
Good on him.
He seems rather good at it.
Good on him.
He doesn't like to "sport hunt" and waste the quarry.
Good on him.
His wife is sick of dealing with kilo after kilo after 10 kilo of deer meat.
So she said he had to give it away.
Good on her!!!
He gave some to K.
K brought it home and we got the stray pine needles and hair off and whacked it in the oven.
It was.... hmmmmm..... half way to beef jerky?
It was VERY tough and had sinewy bits and hard bits and a VERY gamey smell and taste.
It was very lean meat and we talked about how it was definitely good for us- and look at this jaw muscle workout we were getting for free!
But to be honest I was happy to never see the stuff again.
So you can imagine my feelings when K came home with not one but two HUGE bags of deer. One that contained an entire, not-broken-down deer leg.
Turns out K was the only deer beneficiary who went with the socially acceptable 'It was delicious, thank you' rather than the more honest 'Oh my god- it's like eating your sneaker!' and was therefore the sole beneficiary of his boss's subsequent kill.
That was last year.
We tried marinading it, frying it, stewing it, uber thin slicing and bbqing it....
All methods were better than that first attempt but none of the versions were anything you'd write home about. Nothing you'd write anywhere about in fact!
And so when K got out a huge bag of deer meat from the freezer to share with my parents I was groaning on the inside..... my dad has dentures- would deer meat consumption induced dental care even be covered on his travel insurance?
I started googling....
I realised my problem until this point:
I had been googling venison not deer.
But they're one and the same you say.
Oh no no no my dear (deer!)
Venison is some mythical tender rendering of the deer meat that is incredibly versatile, cooperative and all round lovely.
Deer on the other hand is musclebound and a lean mean denture fighting machine.
I found this site. And then after reading it all I decided to ignore the advice. Or rather make my own style!
So, I spent about an hour cutting away all the silver skin, fat and sinewy gristle and stuff. Then I crushed a whole bulb of garlic and added it to the meat in a bowl along with a jar of tomato sauce, a slog of balsalmic, one of oil, some salt, pepper, cayenne pepper.
I left that in a tupperware for 24 hours then browned the meat in batches, added onion and more garlic and more tomato sauce and water and lots of green capsicum and some pumpkin and sweet potato and cooked it low and slow in the shuttle chef for 12 hours.
That's a LOT of work.
The result though?
Seriously, really good. And not in a 'well, if you have to eat deer I guess this is ok.' kind of way but in a 'wow- this is yummy- is there any more?' kind of way.
Which is lucky.
As there was LOTS more.
We ate venison stew for three meals!
There was still one portion left but I froze it.
And you know, I'm actually looking forward to eating it some lunchtime when it's just me for lunch.
I do have my fingers and toes crossed that the hunting season is over, though!