Anyway, a little while ago, the hunter I know, Charlie, gave me some deer meat, and it can basically be cooked in the same manner as the elk I had made before. Now I had only cooked deer meat once before, and it was a total disaster....very gamey and so tough, even the dogs wouldn't eat it. So, of course, I was a bit concerned about messing this up again; but I didn't want to be boring either and cook it the same as the elk. Remember, this blog is about food adventures; not doing the same old, same old.
Since the main cuisine I make is Italian based, I allowed myself some room for playing. This time I was going to make sure I tenderized the deer meat. I used balsamic vinegar to give the meat a more robust flavor, so the gaminess was gone, and it tasted as if wine had been infused into the meat; and alcohol wasn't even used.
...and here's the complete recipe, so try it, and enjoy!
1 ½ lbs deer steak, cut into ¼” slices, no more than 2” long
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 medium onion, slivered
1 (28 oz) can tomato puree
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning mix
5 cups uncooked rigatoni
shredded Parmesan cheese
In a medium bowl, combine the deer with oil, vinegar and garlic; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove meat from marinade. In a large skillet, medium-high heat, brown the meat 5 minutes on first side, turn over and spread the onion over top; cook for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and mix in puree, diced tomatoes, paste and seasoning; cover and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally.
After two hours, prepare rigatoni according to package directions, drain and add to skillet; mix and let cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and serve with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.
Makes 4-6 servings.