I made an order with Eketahuna Country Meats last week. The first time I ordered from them, which I blogged about here, we got 20kg of beef in various wonderful cuts. This time I went for their $145 mixed meat pack rather than all beef. Buying this way really pushes my growing edge and forces me to cook with cuts and meats I would never normally buy.
I usually buy cheap cuts and whatever is on special. Here, I’m getting cheap cuts like mince and sausage along with prize cuts like lamb rack and Porterhouse steak. Eketahuna deliver fortnightly and for free throughout the North Island with minimum order of $95.
The contents of the meat packs change regularly and our pack came with a cut I didn’t recognise at all. The black-red hunk of meat was labelled as “Denver leg”.
Denver? I could think of two, no, three Denvers. The Dinosaur, the guilty dog and Colorado. I admit, I had no clue what this mystery meat was and had to Google it and check Eketahuna’s website to make sure. Turns out, Denver leg is a cut of venison and in this case, wild venison.
I’ve eaten venison a couple of times but never cooked it before. Luckily, the Denver leg is simple to cook. I browsed a few recipes online, some suggested marinating, others did not. I remembered the venison tataki I enjoyed at Taste at The Cloud a few years back and how rare it was.
We have really good venison here in New Zealand which is mostly exported to European and US markets. I wonder if some of you have seen exported New Zealand venison at your local market?
I figured this venison looked robust enough to handle some good flavouring, so I marinated it with a bit of Worcestershire sauce, a little less soy sauce and some dried herbs (sage, thyme, marjoram). I let this do it’s thing in the fridge and skipped off to work while I dreamed up what else to serve with it.
As you can see below, my measurements are vague and to be honest, this is how I generally cook: by eyeballing quantities, by feel and by mood. Does anyone really measure out seasonings when cooking? Well, I don’t.
Easy Venison Steak
Serves 2 hungry people
- 500 grams venison (Denver Leg)
- 2 splashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 splash light soy sauce
- A sprinkling of mixed herbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: capers
- Take a container big enough to fit the venison and add Worcestershire sauce, light soy sauce and the venison. Sprinkle with herbs, flip over and mush about to coat the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or throughout the day.
- Take the meat out of the fridge half an hour before cooking to take off the chill. Season with salt and pepper right before cooking.
- Take a heavy pan and put on very high heat. Add a glug (about 1 tablespoon) of oil and once that is hot, carefully add the meat. Cook for 3 minutes each side for rare (and I’d guess 5 minutes each side for medium rare)
- Remove from heat, cover and rest 10 minutes before slicing 5mm thick. Sprinkle with capers and serve with potatoes and vegetables cooked any way you like ’em.
We had ours with red skinned potatoes dauphinoise, honey herb carrots and a crazy looking pea puree.
Venison is super easy to cook. I love how unfussy it is. Next time I might try it as venison tataki or carpaccio starter. The Koala would have probably enjoyed this cooked a little longer as medium rare, I’d reckon 5 minutes on each side, but I enjoy rare meats and venison was a good one for it.
Eketahuna Country Meats
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