A riff on the familiar Jamaican dish, this version adds sweet potatoes and fresh scallions to the long-simmered goat, fresh ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Scotch bonnet peppers and Caribbean curry powder add a quickly-building, lingering heat..
Caribbean Goat Curry
Sear a pound of cubed local, pastured goat in a very hot, greased Dutch oven until nicely browned on all sides. Add a chopped yellow onion and cook, stirring infrequently until the onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add a chopped Scotch bonnet pepper (2 if you’re brave), a clove or two of minced garlic, a teaspoon or so of freshly-minced ginger and stir to combine.
Add a tablespoon of good Caribbean curry powder (turmeric, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, star anise, black pepper and the all-important allspice) and fry until fragrant.
Reduce heat to medium and add 2 cups of chopped tomatoes, half a tablespoon of vinegar, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and enough stock (preferred) or water to just barely cover the meat.
Bring the pot to a boil, then lower heat, partially cover and simmer until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced in volume by about 1/3, about 4-5 hours, adding diced sweet potatoes during the last hour. Remember to give the pot a stir once an hour and add a little liquid if needed to keep it from drying out.
Adjust flavor with sea salt and black pepper if you think it necessary, then ladle into bowls, top with slivered scallions and a sprig of thyme and serve immediately.
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
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 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.
Traditionally cultivated throughout the Andes (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela), oca (Oxalis tuberosa) is an annual plant that overwinters as underground stem tubers.
Unlike potatoes, oca can be eaten raw with a carrot-like crunch (try them with salt, chili powder and lime), but are more commonly bolied or roasted, with a familiar, potato-like texture. Due to its tolerance for for poor soil, high altitude and harsh climates, oca is hugely important as a staple crop in the Andean highlands.
In this preparation, oca are parboiled in lightly salted mineral water, then drained and sauteed in cumin oil with Aji Amarillo (a medium-hot, orange-colored chile with a light citrus/apricot flavor), purple garlic and shallots. Finished with sea salt, freshly-ground pepper, cilantro and a squeeze of lime, oca make a distinctly delicious side dish..
Oca du Pérou
Oca du Pérou (ratios given here are for 2 servings)
2 cloves purple garlic, slivered
2 shallots, slivered
1/2 whole mild grilling pepper, julienned
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Aji Amarillo chile powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon clarified butter (increase olive oil & omit butter for vegan use)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, torn
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Scrub and trim the ends from a dozen similarly-sized variously-colored oca and plunge into a pot of rapidly-boiling mineral water (substitute plain, filtered water) along with a good pinch of sea salt. Allow the tubers to cook until almost, but not quite tender, about 10 minutes. Drain oca and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat and sauté cumin seeds until fragrant and lightly toasted. Add butter and potatoes and cook, turning often until slightly crisp and browned, about 7 minutes.
Add garlic, shallots, grilling pepper and Aji Amarillo and cook until peppers are soft, about two minutes. Remove pan from heat and add torn cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, toss and serve hot with a wedge of fresh lime on the side.
The elk is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest mammals in North America. Ranging in forest and forest-edge habitat, elk are ruminants, feeding on grasses, bark, forbs and tree sprouts. High in protein and low in fat, this animal was wild-harvested deep in the Texas hill country..
Pan-Seared Elk Medallions with Herb-Infused, Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace
Allow one 5-7oz portion per person, depending on accompaniments
Medallions of wild elk loin, cut about 1 inch-thick
coarse sea salt
freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of tallow
Season elk medallions on all sides with salt and pepper, wrap loosely in butchers’ paper and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Pan-sear with a little tallow or grill over a wood fire until just medium-rare, then allow to rest 10 minutes before serving over chipotle demi-glace.
Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace, Home Version (adapted from Saveur)
1/4 lb. uncured bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sprouted wheat, spelt or rye flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-1/2 quarts beef or game stock, divided
1/4 cup good sherry (not cooking wine)
10 sprigs fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 leaves fresh sage
2 chiles chipotle en adobo, crushed
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Render bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Add onions and carrots and cook until somewhat softened, about 8 minutes. Use a sifter to sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook another 10 minutes. Add sherry, herbs and 8 cups of stock and simmer uncovered until reduced in volume by three-quarters, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Strain sauce, discarding solids. Return to pan with chiles chipotle en adobo and remaining stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours. Demi-glace may be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Baked seashells with artisan cheeses, mustard and fresh cream with spring onions, grape tomatoes and bits of spicy sausage..
Conchiglie al Formaggio
1 1/2 cups conchiglie pasta, cooked and drained
1-2 spring onions, sliced or 1/2 yellow onion, diced
1-2 spicy cooking sausages (such as Spanish chorizo), sliced
1/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup cheese (Manchego, Parmesan, etc.), grated
1 cup fresh whole milk, more-or-less
1 cup fresh cream
1 pastured egg
3 tablespoons grass-fed cultured butter, divided
2 tablespoons sprouted wheat flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup fresh oregano, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and mustard and cook, stirring continuously until smooth, about 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in cream and stir until combined, then thin with milk until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit, then whisk in the egg and set aside.
Quickly brown sausage and onions in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until some of the fat has rendered, then add tomatoes and cook until softened. Drain any excess grease, then fold into the cheese sauce along with the parsley and oregano. Fold in pasta and adjust taste with salt and pepper.
Turn pasta mixture into a buttered casserole, then top with fresh bread crumbs and bake in a 375 degree oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with a green salad and a glass of Pinot Grigio if desired.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, in support of freedom of choice for farmers and consumers everywhere
Who’s invited? Raw milk producers and their consumers, grass based farmers fed up with the low commodity milk prices looking for alternatives, folks that have seen healthier days, Future Farmers of America wanting to check out the buzz about direct sales of raw milk, constitutional scholars and lawyers looking for work that makes a difference, mother and fathers looking for answers to their children’s chronic health and obesity problems, college students cutting classes and stumbling into some life changing information, new couples considering having family, doctors and dentists interested in pragmatic prevention based solutions, teachers and parents concerned with sugared milk in school lunches and YOU!