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sjemac

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    Foothills of Alberta

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  1. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    The MacDonald tradition. Traditional meat pie with made from scratch eggnog on Christmas Eve. I have had every meat from rabbit to squirrel to moose to venison in this meat pie. I have experimented with all kinds of seasonings and spices. Back to basics with beef, pork, salt and pepper — a little Belgian beer for moisture. The crust makes the meal with salt, pepper, and paprika liberally disbursed within it. Diced meat not ground.
  2. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Sort of finger food night. Venison eye of round Carpaccio with the other EOR seared and sliced rare. Grilled octopus as the “veg”.
  3. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Ducks for two. My oldest son and I really like wild duck. Tonight we had seared Mallard breast with confit’d legs and hot roasted teal. Red currant based reduction as a dipping sauce.
  4. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Sous vided the legs from two ruffed grouse for 12 hours in butter and thyme before browning them in the pan and roasted the breasts and served with a sauce made from grouse stock, blackberry jelly and port. Also had some 6/8 per pound jumbo prawns just tossed in oil and garlic and fired hot cast iron in a hot oven for 5 minutes. And caccio e peppe that I screwed up by letting is sit too long while fiddling with the other dishes.
  5. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    I have SV them. They are good but I generally like them so rare that a minute per side right on the coals is all I need. I am currently SV ruffed grouse legs in butter and thyme for 12hrs though. We'll see how that turns out. You may be right but when I am comparing, I want to make sure all the same steps are followed for each cut. I'll try another time without opening the bag.
  6. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Wet aged venison experiment.. We shot a deer on the first day of the season in November when the temps were too warm for our typical aging regimen. So the venison was cut within 24 hrs and put into the freezer but I decided to keep back a outside round (bottom round or silver side -- depending on your location) roast and wet age it over 21 days. Vac-packed the roast and let it hang in the refrigerator for 7 days before opening it up and slicing off the top third which I repacked labelled and put in the freezer. Drained and dried the remaining portion and repacked to hang out for another 7 days before I repeated the procedure above -- except I cut the roast in half. The last third hung our for another 7 days before being opened dried and repacked to go into the freezer. I left them all frozen for 2 weeks before opening them all up for testing. Aprearance-wise, all three steaks looked the same. Odor-wise, the 7 day aged meat had almost no odor while both the 14 day and 21 day had a meatier aroma that was still clean and not off-putting in the least. All three portions were cut in half, given a simple salt and pepper treatment and pan fried in canola oil to an interior temp of 130 F. The center cut portions of each steak had a similar appearance. As for taste? Our panel of three expert carnivores (my sons and I) all agreed that the 7 day aged steak was fine but rather flat tasting compared to the others. It was also the toughest, despite coming from what is typically the most tender portion of the roast. Opinions were split as to which of the other two tasted better with a consensus that there wasn't much difference between them -- both were flavorful and much more complex than the 7 day portions. On tenderness, there was a 2-1 split in favor of the 21 day aged meat. The dissent may have come because one boy had their 21 day portion from the bottom of the roast, near to where it attaches to the femur, and that portion is typically tougher to begin with. Again, the difference was so subtle that it wouldn't have been noticed normally. Regardless, there were no leftovers. The verdict was that wet aging venison for up to 14 days can improve it's flavor and texture significantly. Beyond that doesn't seem to be worth the time or effort however. In the future, I will take the other outside round that is in the freezer, defrost it, drain and dry it and then repack it and let it hang out as a whole cut in the refrigerator for 14 days to see if the results are similar.
  7. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Made a nice stuffed breast of vension. Took the entire brisket off the deer -- both sides as one piece still connected. Gave it a light rub with salt, pepper, sugar and a little Ethiopian Berbere spice and let it set up overnight. Stuffed it with diced carrots, onions, garlic, celery and potatoes partially cooked in lots of butter and more Berbere spice. Tied it up and gave it a sear before simmering it covered in the oven for 3 hours in wine, venison stock, onions and a can of tomatoes with lots of butter and more Berbere. Let it rest, sliced and served over couscous with the remaining sauce having been blitzed in the vitamix. There were no leftovers .Definitely a keeper for the future.
  8. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Probably. This was my first time playing with it though and I always use high heat first so I can wrap my head around what I'm dealing with. This meat was more of a smooth muscle than the striated ones we are used to in other cuts.
  9. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    I buy it. I found a little European deli nearby that now does mail-order due to COVID and they sent me three jars of the the jelly for the same price that I can source one jar from Amazon. Finding fringe ingredients in rural Canada is always a challenge.
  10. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Still experimenting with some little used venison cuts while they are still fresh. This is the thin layer of muscle that exists between the skin and carcass of animals. It gives that striped pattern to the back of properly skinned lamb and deer carcasses but most hunter pull it off accidentally with the skin. Slathered it with a thin layer of duxelles and thyme, salt and pepper and then rolled and tied them before searing and placing in a 450 degree oven for ten minutes. Sliced thickly and served with a port wine, venison stock and red currant jelly reduction and pomegranate seeds. Tasted like venison and mushrooms but had a texture like very tender, thin calamari. Interesting to say the least and I'd have to try it again with different flavourings before I could decide whether I actually like it.
  11. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Yesterday we butchered the deer we shot on Monday and I took the time to fish out smaller cuts that are kept on beef but usually hit the grinder in smaller deer. From the top in the first pic are flat irons, the lump that is attached to top round that we usually trim out because it contains a blood vessel (I'm sure someone has the real name), tri-tip and picahna. McIntosh apple is to give an idea of their size. Cooked them on a super hot 600 degree grill. Pictured from the top is picahna, top round lump, tri-tip and flat irons. The plate clockwise from top right -- picahna, top round lumpish thing, tri-tip and flat irons. Tri-tip had the best flavor but was the chewiest, the picahna was super tender and had great flavor so was the best overall, the top round lump (please someone give me a name for it) was good and the flat iron was strangely disappointing and not just because it got overcooked. Third time we have had them this year and I doubt I'll take the time to salvage them from the sausage pile in the future.
  12. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Farfalle with venison ragu.
  13. sjemac

    Lunch 2020

    Cannibal sandwich made from the chain that runs alongside venison tenderloin. Raw venison, raw onion, salt, pepper, parsley, a bit of olive oil and some parsley on pumpernickel. I'm stuck at home isolating so no worries about the bad breath.
  14. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Shot the last deer of the season on Monday. Tonight was grilled deer heart with grilled peppers and onions and oven roasted spuds. Embraced the bell peppers tonight. More char than I wanted on the veg. The Big Green Egg (knockoff) got too hot.
  15. sjemac

    Dinner 2020

    Venison (moose) sauce piquante from https://honest-food.net/venison-sauce-piquante-recipe/. Replaced the bell pepper with charred and skinless Poblanos though.
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