Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cream Braised Venison Roast

Its rare when your phone rings, and a frantic friend on the other line is anxiously holding a knife in one hand, and a deer's hind-quarters in the other asking, "Ken, I understand that there's some kind of 'gland' or something in this deer that I'm supposed to cut out... what does it look like and what do I do?"  I thought, "That's odd, this is Andy's number... but the voice sounds like his wife, Rayna!"  Sure enough, while Andy was in the other room with his boys, playing with their toys, his wife was dressed in a full butcher's apron, trying heroically to butcher a deer that was gifted to her!

The good news was, between my knowledge of deer anatomy and Rayna's swift knife skills, she was able to break the meat down, remove the unsavory bits, and before long, she had some fantastic cuts of roast in front of her!  What is written here is my venison roast recipe, meticulously executed by my friend's wife, cook, and venison butcher, Rayna Williams.  I wasn't in Texas to taste it, but Rayna says it was "Stinkin' Delicious" so I believe her!  She took pictures and I am writing up the procedure, exactly as she followed it!  Great job, girl!

You will need:

  • Big Crock Pot
  • 3-4lb Venison Roast
  • "Better than Beef" broth mix
  • 1 Bottle Red Wine (I like Pinot Noir for this)
  • 1 LARGE container sliced mushrooms, chopped fine and saute’ed in butter till done 
  • 1 ½ Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Bag frozen pearl onions
  • 3 Tbsp butter 
  • 3 Tbsp flour 
  • Heavy pinch of salt / pepper
  • 1 Cup half n half
  • ½ Cup cream
  • Onion Powder
  • 2 Cloves Fresh Garlic

Phase 1: The soup base.

You can use canned Cream of Mushroom soup, but it won't taste nearly as good!!  Get yourself a cast iron skillet and melt the butter.  Toss in the mushrooms and cook them down until they're nice and nutty and done.

Next, toss in the whole bag of pearl onions.  There is nothing better in a roast than pearl onions!  You can buy fresh ones, but you'll have to blanch and peel them and they aren't that much better than frozen so, it's up to you.

Toss in the flour by sprinkling lightly around the skillet.  You'll need to thoroughly incorporate the flour into the dish so "clumping" is bad!  Add salt and pepper here (to taste).  If it seems like you're making a homemade Cream of Mushroom soup, it's because, well, you are!  Think of this as a CoM soup that's heavy on the onions (you need the onions for the roast, so stop complaining).

Finish the soup by adding the dairy and the chicken broth.  Whisk all of this together over Medium Low heat to mix it thoroughly, then bring the heat up slowly to Medium High.  You're going for a "gentle bubble" here, like your mushrooms are floating happily in their own milky jacuzzi.  Open the red wine while you're waiting (you know, so it can breathe... not so you can drink a glass of it to endure the fact that your husband and two boys are making a devilish mess of some other room in the house).

Doesn't this look fantastic?  You'll have to resist the urge to stop here, and serve the soup for dinner.  If you're a huge CoM soup fan (like I am), You can cut the onions by 2/3 and make this dish some other day, adding a bit of crushed garlic, and chopped parsley for added flavor and color.

When you've reached a gentle bubble, pour the entire contents of the cast iron pan into your crock pot.

Phase 2: The Roast!

After you return your pan to the burner, jack the heat up to HIGH and add a smidge of Olive Oil.  When it's good and hot, brown the roast in the pan, turning to ensure all sides develop a nice crust.  Use tongs to gently lay the roast into the crock pot and prepare to deglaze the pan.

With your empty pan smoking on the burner (and the gas still turned on HIGH), pour in a generous portion of the wine, and two cups of prepared beef broth.  Rayna used "Better than Beef" and I love her for it!  This great stuff comes in a jar as a concentrated "goo" and it's fantastic for broth!  Let the liquid sizzle and use a spatula to "clean" your pan of the juicy bits of the roast that stuck to it.  Let it boil and reduce by 1/2.

Pour the liquid into the crock-pot and spoon it all together and over the roast.  Crush the garlic and toss it in, along with a generous sprinkling of Onion Powder and maybe some Thyme.  Add the lid and turn it on LOW for no less than 8 hours!

When 8 hours are up, flip the switch to WARM and let it settle and rest for another hour.  Then, serve it in bowls with some great bread and maybe some roasted potatoes on the side.  It might remind you of Beef Stroganoff, but oh... so much better!  It's a very "rich" dish that you might want to serve over some salted egg noodles or even stuffed into some homemade ravioli! 

If you can get two young boys to settle down long enough to enjoy a Venison Roast this much, you've done something right!

Many thanks to Rayna and her boys (Andy, Kevin, and Colby)!!

1 comment:

  1. this is a good food and with smoking this its value increases. electric smoker are used for this purpose.


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