In Jamaica, a vibrant, aromatic curry would contain mutton or goat, but it’s a perfect dish for venison, too—especially the meat from an older, more strongly flavored animal that could benefit from slow tenderizing and a powerful, exotic blast of flavor. Venison and pumpkin make a classic autumn pairing, but with the tropical flavorings and chile-fueled heat, you won’t be feeling any chill. Serve with lots of rice.
1 lb. venison, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground corlander seed
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled and seed
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. diced pumpkin (or other winter squash)
1 habanero chile, seeded and diced (optional)
3⁄4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Put the cubed venison in a large bowl along with the curry powder, allspice, coriander, and generous doses of salt and pepper. Mix well to combine the spices and to coat the meat. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour (preferably longer).
2. Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil. When the oil is just beginning to smoke, add the venison and cook until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the onion, tomatoes, and tomato paste, and continue to cook, stirring, for 4 minutes, or until the onions are limp. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the pumpkin, chile (if using), and chicken stock, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently for 2 hours or more, or until the meat is very tender. Stir in the cilantro and serve with lots of rice. Serves 4.