Monthly Archives: September 2010

Chicken-fried Venison with Cream Gravy, Sage and Bacon

A twist on the chicken-fried steak familiar throughout the South (likely first introduced to Texas as Schnitzel by German immigrants in the 1800′s) , this decidedly delicious comfort food favors lean, wild venison over cube steak and adds dried herbs, fresh  sage and bacon.  The result is surprisingly light, crispy and deeply flavorful..

 

Chicken-fried Venison with Cream Gravy, Sage and Bacon

 

 

Serves 2

8-10 ounces wild venison backstrap (boneless loin, similar in texture to filet mignon but much more flavorful)
2-3 strips bacon
1/4 cup (loose) fresh sage leaves
beef tallow (flavor neutral) for frying

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons organic, whole wheat flour, divided (sprouted flour preferred)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dried grilling spices (thyme, rosemary, garlic, etc.), crushed

1 pastured egg
1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 tablespoons pastured butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/4 cup homemade chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the backstrap into equal portions of about 4-5 ounces each.  Place between pieces of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet to pound evenly into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and allow to stand 10 minutes on an absorbent surface.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Once the foam subsides, whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and stir continuously until a thick paste is formed and the flour has lost its “raw” taste, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in chicken stock and buttermilk and bring to a boil then immediately lower to a simmer.  Whisk in cream and allow to simmer 10 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Combine 1/2 cup flour, paprika and dry spices in a bowl or on a plate large enough to hold the pounded venison.  Crack the egg into another bowl and whisk with 1/3 cup milk.

Dredge the venison in flour, shake of the excess then dip into the egg wash.  Hold over the bowl to drain for a moment, then dredge in the flour a second time.  Transfer the breaded venison to a plate and allow to stand 10 minutes.

Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp then add the sage leaves and fry about 1 minute.  Transfer bacon and sage to the side to drain for a moment, then chop coarsely and keep warm.

Add enough tallow to the pan so the the melted volume is about 1/4 inch thick and heat to about 350 degrees.   Carefully lay the breaded venison in the pan and shallow fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.  Transfer to the side to drain for a moment, then position on a dinner plate.  Spoon gravy over the top, dress with bacon and sage and serve immediately.

The primary diet of axis deer is grass, and they will graze on new weeds and forbs.  When grass is not in sufficient quantity, they may browse.  Axis graze successfully on native Texas grasses such as curly-mesquite, Indian-grass, side oats grama, big and little bluestem.  They do well on improved grasses, such as Klein.  Seasonally, they do well on winter wheat.  Browse species include live oak and hackberry.  Mast includes acorns and mushrooms.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!

Black Pasta with Lump Crab and Artichokes in Asiago Cream

Jumbo lump crab, artichoke hearts and sweet peppers in a fish velouté with shallots, white wine, cream, Asiago and flat-leaf parsley.  Seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes and served over a bed of squid ink pasta..

Black Pasta with Lump Crab and Artichokes in Asiago Cream

Poached Halibut with Smoked Bacon-Tomato Gremolata

Wild Alaskan halibut fillets are gently poached in a court bouillon with Alsatian Pinot gris, pastured butter, fresh thyme, lemon verbena and a mirepoix of diced celery, onions and carrots.  The flaky, snow-white fish is topped with a gremolata of chopped parsley, fresh lemon, garlic, smoked bacon and heirloom tomatoes and seasoned with coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper..

Poached Halibut with Smoked Bacon-Tomato Gremolata

For the Court Bouillon

1 pint filtered water
1/3 cup Pinot gris
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs lemon verbena
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the celery, onions, carrots and garlic and cook without browning until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the water, wine, herbs and peppercorns and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

To poach halibut, lower fillets into simmering water and gently poach (do not allow to boil) until just firm and opaque, about 15 minutes per inch of thickness.

For the Gremolata

1/4 cup smoked bacon cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup heirloom tomato, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Cook the bacon in a heavy skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Pour off all put a teaspoon of fat, then add the garlic and sauté 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice and parsley.

To serve, place halibut in a shallow bowl and spoon a little of the poaching liquid over the top.  Dress with gremolata and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.

Classic Chile Verde

Hefty chunks of heritage pork and white onion are seared in a spoonful of seriously hot lard (gasp!) then slowly simmered in their own juices with stock, roasted tomatillos, Poblano and jalapeño peppers, garlic,  cilantro and lime.  Served with fresh white corn tortillas on the side..

Classic Chile Verde

Classic Chile Verde (adapted by recipes by Diana Kennedy and Simply Recipes)

1 pound fatty pork loin or shoulder, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 white onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 fresh red or orange Anaheim, Poblano or other mild fresh chile (for color, optional)
2 fresh green Anaheim, Poblano or other mild fresh chile
1 fresh jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon clean white leaf lard
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 pound fresh tomatillos
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 scant teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse under cold water to remove sticky residue. Split tomatillos in half across the equator and arrange cut side up in a foil-lined skillet.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt then roast along with the green chiles in a 450 degree oven until softened and partially charred.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the lard in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add the pork, onions and red or orange pepper and fry without moving until deep golden brown on one side.  Use a tong or slotted spoon to turn the pork and onions over and continue to cook until well browned on the other side.  Reduce heat to medium low, add the garlic and cook one minute.   Add the stock and oregano cover and slowly simmer 60 minutes.

Peel the chiles, discard the stems and seeds and add to a blender or food processor along with the tomatillos and cilantro.  Pulse until mostly smooth, leaving a few small chunks.  Pour blended mixture into the pork and stock and stir to combine.  Simmer  partially covered, stirring occasionally until pork is fork tender, about 30 minutes.  Add lime juice and season to taste to salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowls and serve hot with freshly made corn tortillas.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s  Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Garlic and Herb-Roasted Pork Loin with Savory Apple Compote

A bone-in heritage pork loin from Revival Meats in Yoakum, Texas gets royally roasted with heirloom garlic from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, cracked black pepper, coarse sea salt and lots of homegrown rosemary and sage.  Served with a savory compote of local gala apples, celery, onions, pan juices and a bit of raw cider vinegar..

Garlic and Herb-Roasted Heritage Pork Loin with Savory Apple Compote

The Red Wattle hog is a large, red hog with a fleshy, decorative, wattle attached to each side of its neck that has no known function.  The origin and history of the Red Wattle breed is considered scientifically obscure, though many different ancestral stories are known.  One theory is that the French colonists brought the Red Wattle Hogs to the United States from New Caledonia Island off the coast of Australia in the late 1700’s.  As they adapted well to the land, the Red Wattle quickly became a popular breed in the US.

Unfortunately, as settlers moved west, the breed began to fall out of favor because settlers came into contact with breeds that boasted a higher fat content, which was important for lard and soap.  Red Wattles were left to roam the hills of eastern Texas, where they were hunted to near extinction, until Mr. H.C. Wengler came across a herd in the dense forest and began breeding them into what they are today. Five year later, in a similar incident, Robert Prentice located another herd of Red Wattle hogs, which became known as the Timberline herd, after its wooded origins in eastern Texas.

Red Wattle hogs are known for their hardiness, foraging activity, and rapid growth rate. The sows are excellent mothers, who labor litters of 9-10 piglets, and provide good quantities of milk for their large litters.  They adapt well to a wide range of climates, making them a good choice for consideration in outdoor or pasture-based swine production.

Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.  –Slow Food USA Ark of Taste

Austin’s Best Food Event Monday and Tuesday

Austin’s Best Food Event Monday and Tuesday

Dining for Life about standing up for Austin AIDS relief by sitting down

AUSTIN, September 10, 2010:  Restaurant reservations are going fast for Dining for Life, voted with the Hot Sauce Festival as Austin’s Best Food Event in the Austin Chronicle Best of Awards.  Dining for Life is this coming Monday, September 13 and Tuesday, September 14, at select Austin restaurants.

Dining for Life has raised over half a million dollars over the past 18 years, and its power lies in its simplicity: you eat at a participating restaurant and 10% to 50% of your tab will directly fund HIV prevention outreach and care services right here in Austin.

According to Dining for Life founder and Eastside Café co-owner Dorsey Barger, “Eating out during Dining for Life is like throwing a dinner party, but without the cost, cooking or cleanup.  And, the money goes to life-saving services for people right here in Austin.”

The 65-plus participating eateries include Amy’s Ice Creams, Asti Trattoria, Chuy’s, Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Maudie’s, Snap Kitchen, Galaxy Café, South Congress Café, Trudy’s and more.  Participating restaurants that are new to Austin include Snack Bar, Urban: an American Grill, La Sombra, and Braise.

Dining for Life benefits AIDS Services of Austin.  One in 378 Austinites has tested positive for HIV; at the same, 1 out of 5 people who have HIV/AIDS are not aware of their status! AIDS Services of Austin is working to change that by providing condoms, testing and education to over 10,000 Central Texans every year.  ASA also serves over 1,500 people annually through case management, a dental clinic, legal advocacy, a food bank and emergency financial assistance.

For a list of all 65+ participating restaurants, visit www.diningforlife.org.

The mission of AIDS Services of Austin is to respond to the HIV needs of the Austin area by providing services that enhance the health and well-being of individuals and the community in the face of an evolving epidemic.

Contact:
Micah King
Communications Coordinator
AIDS Services of Austin
512-406-6114
@asaustin