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Posts Tagged ‘road kill stew

la venaison bourguignon aka road-kill stew

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As this is an adaption of Boeuf Bourguignon, I have used the French spelling for venison, id est “venaison”.

Deer (here) are an abundant wild animal.  This fall, we pulled a deer out of our pool. Recently, within 10′ from the house, a few dogs-wolves bloodied a deer (from a small herd). We follow the blood trail in the snow for a few hundred, but the spotting became infrequent, and we did not find the deer.

As they will eat my hosta and tulips at our bedroom window as we sleep, strip my day-lilies and raspberries; plus as we have hit 3 deer (with the car),  I relish the opportunity to have local venison.

The frequency of deer collisions in my rural area is high, so quietly a set of rules has been established when helping your neightbours, when you come across a car that has hit the deer, the fundamental Qs to cover ….

  1. You confirm the driver and anybody nearby is ok.
  2. You ask if they need help – tow, other, et cetera
  3. “Do you plan to keep the deer?” If the deer is still alive and too injured to survive, kill (ASAP) it humanely. Death happens to all, but death should be dispatch with consideration for the soul, ours and theirs.

This is not you traditional recipe, but to reflect the enjoyment and consideration for eating local.

Ingredients and Steps

  • Red Wine – 1 Bottle > Get a nice bodied read wine out of the cellar. Open it, and have a glass.  If you need to buy, buy local if you can. For me, this could be a Quinte House Red Wine.
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  • Strips of real Smoked Bacon – 12 strips – cross-cut into 4mm strips > My local favourite is Seed to Sausage in Sharbot Lake, On.
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    Please note the emphasis of real bacon.
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    As food producers focus on increasing profitability-lowering cost, the quality of bacon has substantially deteriorate as it is replaced with pork injected with phosphate, nitrate, and liquid smoke. Our old standby of Schneider’s is a chemical infuse product now, and my replacement Dutch Bacon has also trasition to a chemically infuse with pork as a by-product
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  • Clean prepared Venison, 2lbs preferably from my yard.
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  • Sweet Onion (1) or equivalent from our local farmer community.
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    I find with a very sharp knife, the onion will bruise less, and quite happy to use a large field onion, as the alternative to a sweet onion. Yes, I am articulating a case, your knives can affect your food.
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  • Carrots (2) from our local farmer community.
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  • Flour, there is a limited supply of Artisan flour here, but I will pull out of my stores of global common white flour.
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    The flour is to make the roux, so which ever flour you use (I have also done well with spelt), it must be a flour you feel good in making a gravy.  A deceased friend use to get his from Upper Canada Village in Brockville, from the old stones.
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  • Walnut Oil (or Olive, if there is a nut allergy) – keep on hand.
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  • 1/4 c local Gin, with Juniper (redundant, as all Gin should have Juniper). With the explosion of local breweries and distilleries is a boon to the consumer. I suspect we seen the needle wing too far and there is an “over-supply”, and possible a contraction of suppliers is likely to happen, but the choice available to us is a good thing,
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    I am currently using Georgian Bay Gin.
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    The traditional french version call for cognac. As a sister plant to Juniper is Cedar, I find it fitting to use Gin for a local deer. .
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  • Mushroom and-or Vegetable Stock, up to 3c
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  • Tomato Paste, 1 tsp – here I break down and get a cans of Hunts, this reflects my grandmother’s insistence to use Hunts when making cabbage rolls.
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  • Garlic, 4 large gloves. get local or from the Ottawa Valley!
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    The general supply of garlic is a shameful story of corporate greed from the Canadian food retailers, who buys low quality garlic in bulk from China (there are claims of dumping to, plus poor labour practice to). The Canadian corporate argument is that they can ensure the garlic they offer on the Pacific Coast is the same as on the Atlantic coast, is the same, even if it  some of the worst – worthless – tasteless – garlic possible.
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    Fresh garlic from my area – Ottawa Valley – is a treasure. I have also tasted great local garlic in Italy, Yorkshire, so I know others are also blessed with this great condiment.
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  • Butter, 3 tsp, I am happy that our milk and dairy industry is protected from the US, for we do get quality milk and butter,
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    Conversely, we do need to continue opening the cheese market. The dairy industry got lazy and rested on producing mediocre cheese. Good cheese – aka from France, UK, Germany, Spain, et cetera – was limited and control by these boards, sadly protecting an inferior Canadian product.
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    Good news, local artisan cheese producers now have access to customers, and we are seeing good products at the small shops.  The Canadian diary industry needs to take heed, you can own the market, if you provide good product, but if you are providing only rubber orange dyed cedar cheese, you deserve to loss the market. Control comes with responsibility for safety and quality. Do not expect loyalty, if you deliver poor product.
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  • Mushrooms, 1 cup minimum.  Wild mushrooms can work, or small brown mushrooms that have been quartered.
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  • Soft Apple, like a MacIntosh or Cortland chopped (option).
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    Applies represent another case of corporate greed, where the majority of the stock is flown in from New Zealand and South America – Crisp, Fujis, Pink Ladies, when GREAT apples are grown within 100km of where I live – Cortland, Macintosh, et cetera.
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  • White Potatoes – preferably small – cut into 3/8″ cubes

So above, I made a passionate plea, experiment with local produce, and do not let the greed/control of large corporations whose actions do not reflect quality produce first.  .
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They can provide good produce, but they are willing to throw quality under the bus to improve on their margins.

The steps

  1. Turn on the Oven to 350F.
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  2. In Dutch Oven, brown the bacon and remove, leaving dripping begin,. (This is why a quality bacon is important, it is your base!).
  3. Brown the Venison  and remove.
  4. Add the chopped carrots and onions. Sauté until the onions are tender and begun to brown.
  5. Transfer the onions and carrots to a bowl, and add the apple.
  6. Add flour and make the roux. If you need more oil, add walnut (olive) oil.
  7. As roux is being made and has reached a medium brown, stir in onions and carrots.  At the completion, the onions and roux should be well coated.
  8. Add the Gin, and you may flambé – if it is safe to do so.
  9. Under medium low heat, add remaining wine, tomato paste, garlic, meat, bacon.
  10. Cover with stock, but do not flood it – just enough stock to cover the stew.
  11. Transfer to Oven (with lid on), typically 2-3 hours,
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    Bake until meat is tender. My pots (Dutch Ovens (Staub)) do a fantastic job on maintaining moisture, but if you are losing to much, add stock and consider a secondary parchment barrier, laying on top of the stew.
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  12. Under low heat in a secondary pan, sauté the mushrooms in butter.
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  13. When stew is ready, combine with mushrooms and let sit for 10 minutes.
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  14. Serve.
  15. Great meal for 2 days.

deer stew_DSC4529

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Update March 1 2020, but also let me note, in this posting, I have expressed some critical views of corporation sacrificing food quality for profits. I still adhere to this, as I see grocery stores change hands, vegetable quality change, et cetera, but I like to note not all “chains are bad”.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/12/28 at 03:58