Sunday, February 3, 2008

Slow-Cooked Venison With Cheesey Polenta

We have a freezer full of venison from the deer Alex got last November, and I was not much looking forward to consuming any of it, my past experience with venison being less than wonderful. But all day long today, the crock-pot was bubbling away, filling the house with delicious aromas, so I couldn't help but give it a try. Also? MY husband made polenta. CHEESY polenta. Which worked with this roast so well, I couldn't believe it. Here's how he did it.

The first key, I think, was the cut of meat--what I ate was a small filet of tenderloin. Imagine the leanest filet mignon you've ever seen. Alex also prepared some other cut, which I did not like nearly as well, though he thought it was pretty good (bear in mind, he also likes foie gras), in the same manner. He started by marinating the steaks and the roast overnight in dark beer. The next morning, he layered carrots and onions in the bottom of the Crock-Pot. Then he salted and peppered the meat, and seared each cut in olive oil on a hot skillet 'til browned on each side. The roast and steaks went into the Crock-Pot over the chopped vegetables.

Over the top of the meat, he poured equal parts red cooking wine and beef broth, to which diced tomatoes and minced garlic were added. This cooked for a little over 5 hours on the high setting of the Crock-Pot.
something's coming, something good

When the meat was done cooking, he whipped up a batch of fresh polenta (which we should totally do more often, because a serving of polenta has about 70 calories, NO fat, and 1 gram of fiber), and doctored it up with just a little parm/reggiano cheese. Our roast and veggies were served on a bed of the cheesy polenta, with sauce from the roast spooned over the top.
venison pot roast

IT. WAS. SO. GOOD. I highly recommend this for those of you who've had negative venison experiences. There was zero gamey flavor, and if I say that, you can believe me. Again, I preferred the filet, but the other cuts weren't so bad, either. Just not DELICIOUS, like what I had. Yum. I may let him go hunting again next year, after all.

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