Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
I have had venison on my mind lately.
I had some inspiration from one of the deer camp guys who told me where I could find the elusive juniper berries. And I'm hauling a cooler-full of frozen steaks, chops, whole loin, kabobs and burger home for the deer camp crew tomorrow. They're running low on their supplies and I need space in my chest freezers for wild turkeys. Oooooh baby. Only two weeks until turkey camp.
A decade and a half ago turkey hunting was barely on Wisconsin's radar screen. Now it rivals Missouri's turkey hunting season. Missouri is the state that supplied the birds that ultimately led to the reestablishment of the wild turkey and one of Wisconsin's most awesome hunting opportunities. Is it theoretically possible to have too many hunting opportunities? I digress.
Back to the venison.
Pretty close to the perfect protein. Low in cholesterol, hardly any fat, tastes great, rather abundant (if you are willing to spend the time and expense hunting) and lends itself to some pretty versatile recipes.
This afternoon I fetched a chunk of venison loin from the freezer along with some frozen garden beans - and three garden potatoes from the root cellar.
This is a quick and easy meal and sure to please.
Medallions of Venison
Fill a tub with rocks. Add a couple of bleu cheese stuffed olives and a generous two fingers of Hendrick's gin from the freezer. Sip this throughout to maintain focus and inspiration.
Peel your spuds, quarter and add to a pot with cold water and some sea salt. Bring to a slow boil.
Carve your loin into medallions about 3/4 inch thick. Crack some fresh pepper over them, dredge in flour and set aside.
When the potatoes are ready drain the water into a Pyrex measuring cup. Cover and set the tubers aside to rest.
Assemble some olive oil, white cooking wine, a hunk of frozen wild pheasant stock, a jar of capers and Dijon mustard. Warm a griddle on the stove top along with a serving platter.
Smash your potatoes using just enough of the reserved potato water to result in a stiff mash. Cover and set aside on the warm griddle.
Bring your Calphalon (and olive oil) to very high heat. Sear the medallions turning only once. As they are rare at this step transfer them immediately them to the platter and cover with foil.
To the exceedingly hot skillet add a large splootch of white cooking wine to de-glaze the pan. To that add the hunk of frozen pheasant stock, some capers and a dollop of Dijon mustard. Continue to heat on high and reduce.
Nuke the green beans in the microwave - or add them to the reduction of pheasant stock. You pick.
When your spouse pads into the kitchen announcing - I smell capers - this is the signal that your pan seared venison dinner is ready. Pour the caper sauce over the medalions - which have rested for a spell on the warm serving platter - they will be a perfect medium rare.
Serve with Big House red California table wine.
Note to my 58 readers. You can substitute pork or beef tenderloin and whatever kind of stock you prefer. If you lack a spouse you need to prepare this for your main squeeze.
By the way - did tell you I interviewed the candidates for governor about hunting and fishing?