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Venison Potstickers
My advice for beginners is to make these potstickers with store-bought wrappers to start. Only after you’ve made a couple batches should you bother to make your own wrappers. While making the filling is uber-easy, getting the pleated fold is mildly tricky. Best not to overwhelm yourself the first time. Once you have the fold down, go ahead and make your own wrappers. Instructions for doing that are at the end of this recipe. If you get lost, Andrea has a great page with how-to videos here. Remember you will need the tortilla press and your little dowel. NOTE: You will also need a few tablespoons of safflower, peanut or other vegetable oil for pan-frying the potstickers. Serve your potstickers with a zippy soy dipping sauce, sriracha or something else that is sweet-and-spicy. Just make more than you think you need. You’ll find yourselves fighting over the last one… Serves 4 normal people, or 2 gluttons. Prep Time: 2 hours, or about 45 minutes if you are using store-bought wrappers. Cook Time: 20 minutes per batch, split into 2 rounds of cooking SAUCE 1/4 cup soy sauce 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar 1 hot chile, minced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon minced ginger 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons sesame oil FILLING 3/4 pound ground venison, duck or other meat 3/4 cup Chinese chives, green onions or other wild chive-like green onion 2 tablespoons minced ginger 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup chicken stock (Asian if you have it) or water 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry 2 teaspoons sesame oil WRAPPERS Either 30-36 store-bought potsticker wrappers or: 2 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces) 3/4 cup hot water __________ Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and let sit at room temperature while you make everything else. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling together until well combined. It is better to let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to overnight, but you can use it right away. Fill each wrapper with a scant tablespoon of filling. Close each one into a half-moon, making sure there are no air pockets. It is probable that some of the filling will squirt out the ends as you seal them — this is normal, just drop it back into the bowl with the rest of the filling. If the wrappers are dry, get a little bowl of cool water and wet half of each wrapper circle with the water; this will help it seal tightly. Pleat the edges: I usually start from the center and do 3 pleats on the left of the dumpling, then another 3 on the right of the dumpling, As you make the pleats, settle the dumpling on your work surface so it sits flat. You will need this flat surface to get a nice crispy bottom to your potsticker. Set each finished dumpling on a baking sheet lined with either parchment or a little semolina flour or corn meal. To cook your potstickers, get a large, non-stick frying pan out and heat about 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use peanut) over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, about a minute or two, lay the potstickers down in one layer; they can touch each other. Fry like this 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. Add enough water to come up about 1/4 inch. The pan will sputter and spit, so have a lid ready. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, move the lid partway off the pan to let steam escape. Cook 2 more minutes, then remove the lid entirely. You will soon hear the cooking change from boiling to sizzling — that’s your cue they are done. Serve immediately. To Make Wrappers Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Boil some water, turn off the heat and pour in a healthy 3/4 cup of the water into the well you’ve made in the flour (when I mean “healthy” I mean to err on more water, not less). Stir the mixture with a fork until it gets shaggy, then knead with your hands (the dough will not be too hot to handle) for a few minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a plastic bag and let sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Roll the dough into a thick snake and cut it in half, then in half again. Put the three pieces you are not using back in the plastic bag. Roll the snake you are working with until it is about 1-inch thick. Cut it into 8 disks. Use your hands to return each disk to a nice cylinder. If the dough is tacky, dredge it lightly in a little flour. Open your tortilla press. Put the cylinder between two pieces of plastic or wax paper (I use sheets cut from a freezer bag) and squash it with the tortilla press. Move the circle of dough to your work surface and do the other 8 pieces of dough. Now use your little dowel to roll out the outer edges of each circle. You want to keep an area about the size of a nickel at the center thick, so hold the wrapper here while you flatten the edges out with the dowel. Do this while constantly rotating the wrapper. It does not matter if the wrapper is perfectly circular; just try your best. Once you have your 8 wrappers, fill them and pleat as above. Continue with another 8 wrappers at a time until you finish.
Venison Barbacoa
This is one of the best recipes I know for using the front shoulder of a deer. That meat can be sinewy and tough to deal with, so this method will all you to deal with all that connective tissue and make the meat super tender. However, the meat will still be really lean, so you may want to add something to it to thicken it up. Some people add 1/4 cup of lard, but olive oil or vegetable oil would work. Of course, fatty meats like pork or lamb don't need this step. Be sure to have lots of side dishes for the barbacoa! It’s a base for a meal, the do-it-yourself construction of your tacos is more than half the fun! One more thing: This recipe reheats beautifully, so make a big batch!! Serves 4 to 6. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 3 hours, more or less - 2 to 3 pounds venison, from the shoulder or legs - 2 to 4 canned chipotles in adobo - 1 red onion, chopped - 5 garlic cloves, chopped - 2 bay leaves - 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional) - 1 teaspoon ground cumin - 1 teaspoon ground cloves - 1 tablespoon kosher salt - ½ cup lime juice - ½ cup cider vinegar - 1 quart beef or venison stock - 1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil - Smoked salt (optional) - Cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados and hot sauce for garnish __________ Put everything in a slow cooker or Dutch oven and cook, covered, until the meat falls off the bone, which will be between 2 hours (for many domestic meats and young deer) and 6 hours if you have a very old animal. If you use a slow cooker, set it to “high.” If you use a regular pot, put it into the oven set to 300°F. Pull all the meat from the bones and shred with forks or your fingers. Stir in the lard and as much smoked salt as you want. You want the lard or oil to coat the shreds of meat. Pour over some of the juices from the pot and put the meat in a pan for the table. Serve with tacos, in a burrito or on a bun.
Venison Stir-Fry
Serves 4. Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes INGREDIENTS: Marinade: 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon potato starch (or corn starch) mixed with 2 tablespoons water Stir fry: 1 pound venison, trimmed of all fat and sinew 1 1/2 cups peanut or other cooking oil 1 to 4 fresh red chiles 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced 3 garlic cloves, slivered 1 bunch cilantro, washed and roughly chopped 1 tablespoon soy sauce 2 teaspoons sesame oil ___________ DIRECTIONS (1) Slice the venison into thin slivers of about 1/4 inch or less and anywhere from 1 to 3 inches long. Mix with the marinade and set aside while you cut all the other ingredients. (2) Heat the peanut oil in the wok or a large, heavy pot until it reaches 275°F to 290°F. Don’t let it get too hot. Add about 1/3 of the venison to the hot oil and use a chopstick or butter knife to separate the meat slices the second they hit the hot oil. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove with a Chinese spider skimmer or a slotted spoon. Set aside and cook the remaining venison one-third at a time. (3) Pour out all but about 3 tablespoons of the oil. Save the oil for the next time you cook Chinese food. (4) Get the remaining oil hot over high heat on your hottest burner. The moment it begins to smoke, add the chiles and bell peppers and stir-fry for 90 seconds. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the venison and stir fry 90 seconds. (5) Add the cilantro and soy sauce and stir fry a final 30 seconds, just until the cilantro wilts. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Serve at once with steamed rice.
Jaeger Schnitzel with Venison (a Traditional German Dish)
Jaeger schnitzel is a classic hunter's meal. The term literally means "hunter's cutlets" in German. The dish is now normally made with pork now, and chicken fried steak is believed to be an adaptation from the original recipe brought to the US by German immigrants. Traditionally, jaeger schnitzel was made with venison or wild boar backstrap, pounded thinly. The dish is essentially a thin cutlet of meat served with a mushroom gravy. Potatoes are the traditional side dish, but they can be boiled, mashed, made into a salad, or however you like them. Like I said, this is a man's meal. The only green on the plate is some parsley. Serves 4 - 4 venison or wild boar medallions, duck breasts, or 2 venison hearts - Salt - 1 to 1 1/2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped - 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped - 5 tablespoons bacon fat, lard or butter, divided - Flour for dusting (optional) - 2 tablespoons flour - 1 cup venison, duck or beef stock - 2-4 tablespoons cream - Black pepper to taste If you are using venison hearts, cut them open from top to bottom and trim off any fat or vein-y bits. Trim any excess meat so the heart lays more or less flat. Place the heart — or venison or boar medallion, or duck breast — between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound until the meat is about 1/4 inch thick. Do this firmly, but don’t wail on the meat or you will tear it. Trim the cutlets to an even shape if you want. Pour the stock into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Set a large saute pan over high heat for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms to the hot, dry pan. Shake them around so they don’t stick too much and cook the mushrooms until they give up their water, about 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and onions and stir-fry them until the onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and onions and set aside. Dust the cutlets in flour if you want to. Add the remaining bacon fat to the saute pan and let it heat up over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Do not let it smoke. Sear the cutlets for 90 seconds on the first side. Keep them from curling up with a spatula. Flip the cutlets and sear another 90 seconds for medium doneness. Remove the cutlets to a plate. Add the 2 tablespoons flour and mix with the fat in the pan. Turn the heat to medium and let the flour-and-fat mixture cook for 3-4 minutes, until it is the color of coffee-with-cream. Whisk in the hot stock, plus any juices that have come off the cutlets while they rest. You should have a thick gravy. If it is thin, let this boil down a minute or two. If it is really thick, turn off the heat, wait for the sauce to stop bubbling and stir in the cream. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Add the mushrooms and onions back to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce. Pour this over the cutlets and serve at once.