Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 55: Attention Dad! Venison and Beer!

It's not all sauces and sorbet.

My dad is a hunter, and every fall we'd have some animal hanging in our garage after one of his hunting trips. Deer, moose, bear, buck - he bagged them all, and that meant a freezer full of meat. 

In my teens, my sister and I rebelled and decided we disliked venison and refused to eat it. We'd arrive home after school to the smell of roasting meat and ask, "What's for dinner?"
"Roast", my parents would answer.
"Roast what?", we'd suspiciously inquire.
The answer to this question rotated between silence and "don't ask". 

Once my mom tried to trick us, thinking our dislike for wild meat was all in our heads. She threw out, "beef!" and would soon regret it.  One fork-full of meat had us ranting all night and we methodically checked all her cooking for gamey smelling and tasting meat after that. We suspiciously eyed her sausages, put stews under strict scrutiny and questioned everything on the table. I'm sure we refused to eat beef a few times, deeming it too "gamey" for our delicate palates. (Gosh, what a pain! Why do people have kids?)

 So today's themes were mussels and venison, and I gave the meat one more try. But before that, I had to question the Chefs. "How long has that been aged?" "To what degree of doneness do we cook it?" "Can I marinade it in something?" (Gosh what a pain! Why do people become teachers?!)


Things I learned:
 - Moose, deer and elk are all referred to as venison. We had red-tail deer today, flown in all the way from a farm in New Zealand.
 - There are venison farms in the interior of BC and of course farmed venison is less gamey tasting and less tough than wild.
 - Wet cooking methods rule, (braising, stewing), unless it's the loin because it has little fat and tends to be dry and tough.
 - Always cook between medium to med well - no more, no less. In fact, venison is a tricky meat to cook well.

So we made it, luck was on our side and we cooked it perfectly and... it was ok. Still not a fan. Sorry parents!

But! I am now sure that if my dad brought home another deer, I may not be able to eat it, but I'd be able to butcher it!

Here's a dish I liked...

Mussels! Cooked in beer!

Although I still prefer them this way! Midye Dolma!

Anthony Bourdain ate these in his Istanbul segment of "No Reservations". He made a big deal about how unhealthy and dodgy they were off the street and how he was sure he would pay for it later. 

He didn't. 

I know because I ate these off the street quite often and never suffered a minute. (And I'm sure if he was ill - they would have put it into the show! 'Cause, well, that's the kind of show it is!)


  1. I never did try the Istanbul mussels. Oh well! Will next time!!!

  2. Euw, mussels. :-p
    Bambi - aw.
    Once I tried tricking my sister by putting goat's milk on her cereal. She knew it wasn't cow's milk right away.