- 1 Venison Heart
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- A Healthy splash of balsamic vinegar
- Chopped fresh thyme
- Coarse sea salt
Trim the heart of anything that looks like sinew (this is easy enough to spot) and excess fat (which tends to be around the open top of the heart), and remove any blood clots lurking in the ventricles. Slice the heart open in order to lay it flat and complete the process. You want pieces 1 inch square and up to ¼ inch thick; if the flesh is thicker than that, slice horizontally through the meat before cutting the squares.
Toss the pieces of the heart in the vinegar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Marinate for 24 hours.
Cook the pieces on a grill over a very hot fire, for about 1 ½ minutes per side. (They're best served somewhere between medium-rare and medium. Overcooking produces tough squares resembling jerky.) Serve with a salad of watercress or white beans and shallots.
- 8 Ounces Slab Bacon, cut into ½-inch squares
- 3 Medium red onions, peels and thinly sliced
- 1 Venison liver (about 1 ½ pounds), cut into eight generous slices
- All-purpose flour for dredging
- Course salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 Tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
- 2 cups Yukon Jack
- 3 Tablespoons chopped Parsley
Heat a large skillet over low heat. Add the bacon and slowly cook until the fat is rendered and the meat is starting to crisp, about 12 to 14 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove it onto a layer of paper towels. Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 16 to 18 minutes, until they're soft and lightly browned. Remove them to a bowl, add salt and pepper, and set aside. (Reheat the bacon and onions in a warm oven or microwave just prior to serving.)
In a shallow dish, season the flour with salt and pepper and dredge the liver slices, shaking off any excess. Pour off any remaining fat from the skillet and wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat until it begins to foam, and add four pieces of liver. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, or until slightly past medium-rare (cut into them to be sure), then remove them to a plate, covering it with foil to keep the slices warm. Repeat with the remaining four slices, adding more butter to the pan if needed.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the Yukon Jack to the pan. Once it's warmed--15 seconds or so later--ignite it with a long match or wand-type butane lighter. (The flames will go high, so be careful.) Shake the pan lightly until the flames subside. Simmer the Yukon Jack until it reduces to a syruplike consistency, scraping up any browned bits lingering on the bottom of the pan. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
To serve, place two liver slices on each plate and top with generous heaps of the warmed onions and bacon. Spoon the Yukon Jack reduction over the liver and garnish it with parsley.
- 1 Cup Masa Harina*
- 1/2 Cup flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon ground cumin, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1/4 Teaspoon chile powder, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 Tablespoon lard or shortening
- 1 Cup warm water
- 1/2 pound venison top round or any tender cut, sliced into ½-inch cubes
- 2 Venison kidneys (¼ pound total), diced small
- 1/2 Teaspoon each crushed red pepper and paprika
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 Poblano pepper, finely chopped
- 2 Cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Cup venison or beef stock, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Large egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 Cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
Combine the masa harina, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and ¼ teaspoon each of cumin and chile powder in a bowl. Mix in the lard and then the water, adding a little at a time, working it with your hands until a dough forms. Mold this into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the cubed top round and kidneys with the remaining teaspoon each of cumin and chile powder, along with the crushed red pepper and paprika. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the seasoned meats, stirring until the pieces are well browned. Put in the onion and poblano pepper, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until just softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in 1 cup of stock and bring it to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 tablespoons of stock and the cornstarch. Add this to the pan and stir to incorporate. Simmer briefly until the liquid thickens to a gravylike consistency. Remove it from the heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Fetch the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into eight equal-size pieces. With a rolling pin, roll out each portion of dough between sheets of plastic wrap, into 8-inch circles. (Allow yourself some time here; this is a bit of grunt work.) Beat together the egg and water until frothy, and working one by one, brush the dough rounds with the egg wash and place ¼ cup of the meat filling in the middle of each. Fold the round over into a semicircle (use the plastic wrap to avoid touching and cracking the dough). Seal the edges; if desired, crimp them with a fork. Brush the tops with more of the egg wash.
Place the empanadas on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper and bake them for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden. Serve them hot with a charred tomato-chipotle sauce.
- 4 Venison tongues (about 1 pound total)
- 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
- 5 Garlic cloves, lightly smashed, peeled, and thinly sliced
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 2 Whole cloves
- 2 Whole star anise
- 1 Teaspoon hot chile paste
- 9 Cups water
- 1/2 Cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce (optional)
- 2 Medium onions, peeled and halved
- 1 3-inch piece ginger
- 8 Ounces spinach, trimmed, rinsed, and drained
- 8 Ounces medium rice stick noodles*, cooked according to package directions, rinsed and drained
- Chopped cilantro or sweet basil and minced scallions for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the tongues, reduce the heat, and simmer slowly, covered, for about 2 hours. Remove the tongues with tongs, let rest until just cool enough to touch, and peel off the skin. (It will come off easier when the tongues are warm. If the skin still adheres, trim it with a paring knife.) Cut into ¼-inch slices and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the garlic, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and hot chile paste and saute until fragrant--only 15 seconds or so. Then add the water, soy sauce, and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Put in the tongue slices and reduce the heat until you have a slow but steady simmer.
Using tongs, char the ginger and onion halves directly over a gas flame, until evenly scorched. (For electric stoves, heat a heavy dry skillet over high heat and sear the ginger and onion on all sides until nearly blackened.) Add these to the pot.
Let simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the tongue slices are very tender. Remove the cinnamon sticks, star anise, ginger, and onions, reserving the onions. Cook the noodles. Chop the onions roughly and return them to the pot along with the spinach. Bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat.
Divide the warm noodles among four bowls and ladle the meat, broth, and spinach on top. If desired, add minced scallions and either roughly chopped cilantro or sweet basil.