Thursday, September 16, 2010

Carnage du Jour - 11 September 2010


Ah ... Family Camping at Albert Sleeper State Park!

Thanks to the hunting skills of two of our intrepid campers, we had a few nice venison roasts for our annual Saturday night feast, and nice they were indeed.

The question then was how to prepare venison rump roasts for twenty five to thirty folks while camping (with all the comforts of home, such as electricity (that's hydro to our Canadian readers) and water - running water came from the sky, potable water from the tap down the road.

The appliance part of the answer was an electric roaster.  The cooking part of the answer was as follows.
A dry rub of salt, cocoa powder, and chipotle powder was applied to the roasts, and they were seared at the highest setting on that roaster (450F, I believe).  The temperature was dropped to more like 275F and they were slow roasted for a couple hours.  Part of the way through, a bit of vegetable stock and red wine were added, along with some diced onions, sliced mushrooms, and carrots, so I suppose it was more of a braise than a strict roast at that point.  A bit later, some fresh chorizo was added, making that sauce all the better with its spicy goodness.

I had never actually cooked venison before, although I had eaten it several times, and had an idea of what flavours would match well.  Further, knowing that it was a very lean protein meant that I knew it had to be cooked slowly to avoid drying it out too much.  All in all, a very successful entrĂ©e for the crowd.

Of course, that was far from the only dish at the feast - cheesy mashed potatoes, Greek peasant salad, bulgur and couscous salad, pasta with Alfredo sauce, jambalaya, I'd better stop before it looks like an exhaustive list, as there's no way I'll remember them all, and I don't want to offend any of the other cooks.  Suffice it to say that no one had any excuse to leave the table hungry.

The food was tasty good, and the fellowship was excellent.