It’s nice to meat you…

4 Feb

You would think that living in Pennsylvania that venison would be easy to find. We can see deer at our front door for crying out loud! But, surprisingly, if you’re not hunting your own, it’s tricky to find. It’s not that I’m for or against hunting, it’s just I’m too impatient to hunt myself and too spontaneous to want to order meat via the internet.

The last time Ryan and I went to the Italian market I was referred to a shop that specialized in game meats. When we walked in, no joke, it looked scary. There were heads and skulls and very large knives everywhere. There were also 2 huge butcher blocks that were so well used that they were actually warped into bowls. I hate to say that the guy at the counter looked like a cliché but he did. He was at least 6′ 4″, bearded and lumberjack in build. Thank God we were in there for meat and not to ask for forgiveness. Anyway, we asked for venison and at $16.99 per pound, 1 pound it was. He only had chops, frozen, and 4 to a pack. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it would do. I know I probably over paid, but sometimes you just want something unique.

Now you might be asking yourself why I’d be so interested in venison anyway. Well, it’s probably the least gamey tasting game meat. It’s very lean and easy to cook. Venison chops are great to grill or pan sear. Because it’s so lean, it does not do well in a long, wet cooking process like braising. Venison is also easy to sauce. It pairs well with almost anything that goes with pork or beef. I like to make pan reduction sauces and last night was no different. I made a wild blueberry cabernet sauce. This is a great go to sauce since it goes great on venison, salmon, and pork. Here’s the recipe:

Wild Blueberry Cabernet Sauce

1/2 cup cabernet
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste

After your protein has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and wrap in foil. Add the wine into the hot pan and let cook for a minute or 2. Make sure your pan is off the heat when you add the wine so that you don’t start a fire. Then add in the blueberries and allspice. Let cook on medium high and reduce by half. Turn off the heat and season. Swirl in the butter (a.k.a. monte au buerre) Serve over your protein.

If you live in PA and want venison and don’t live near the Italian market, before venturing out, ask your friends if they have any. Of course after telling my tale of adventure and intrigue more than 1 person told me they had a freezer full of venison that they would have happily given me. So instead of a little venison for $16.99 I could have had my heart’s desire for free! Oh well, maybe when I start looking around for boar or bison I’ll ask my friends first.

Always thinking of the next meal


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