You can definitely tell that deer season has started here. Our lives revolve around food plots, deer stands, and trail cameras. Right now it's bow season and my son hunts with a bow. My guys both eat what they kill, but they kill very few deer. They are members of a deer management club, and the rules are pretty strict. I can usually count on at least one of two deer per season going into the freezer though.
When I first married Greg, I hated the thought of cooking and eating deer. However, almost 29 years later things have changed a little. One contributing factor is the quality of the food we buy. Knowing that much of the meat in our stores has added hormones and antibiotics discourages me from purchasing it. For that reason, and the fact that I have figured out to cook more than venison chili, I have grown to enjoy venison.
Today I'm sharing a fabulous recipe from The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cook Book. It looks fancy, and you would think it would be difficult. There are a few steps involved, but this recipe is very simple to prepare and delicious to eat.
- 2 c. zinfandel
- 1½ pints blueberries, fresh or frozen, rinsed and well drained
- 2 c. brown veal demi glace
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Salt, to taste
- Juice of ½ lemon or to taste
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- Place Zinfandel in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to about ½ cup.
- Add the berries, and return liquid to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until berries are soft.
- Add demi-glace and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or to coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain sauce nd whisk in butter. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste. Place sage in sauce and steep for 10 to 20 minutes or until ready to use. Keep warm. Remove sage sprigs before serving.
You can find Classic French Demi-Glace in some grocery stores. The brand I used was More Than Gourmet.
Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms
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- 1 lg. leek, white part only
- 1 c. chopped assorted wild mushrooms
- ½ c. heavy cream
- Salt to taste
- Juice of ½ lemon or to taste
- Cut leek into 2-inch sections. Cut sections into fine julienne strips.
- Combine leek strips, wild mushrooms, and cream in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the cream has thickened.
- Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Keep warm.
- Compote may be prepared several hours ahead. Keep warm or reheat gently.
- Sauce may be prepared several hours ahead. Keep warm or reheat gently if necessary.
Venison Medallions with Blueberry-Sage Sauce and Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms
- 8 (3-oz.) medallions from the backstrap of venison
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp. canola oil
- Blueberry-Sage Sauce (recipe follows)
- Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms (recipe follows)
- Season venison with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Bring oil to smoking point.
- Place medallions carefully in the pan and saute for 3 minutes, being careful not to crowd the pan. Turn and cook for another 2 minutes for medium-rare. Repeat as needed to brown all fillets.
- Spoon Blueberry-Sage Sauce over the bottom of each dinner plate Place with 2 medallions in the center of each plate and nestle a small mound of Compote of Leek and Wild Mushrooms above the medallions. Serve immediately.
I remember my grandmother’s chicken pies. They were simple, with no vegetables and a biscuit like crust, and oh so delicious! Bo (that’s what we called my grandmother) would often make them to take to “dinner on the ground” at church. What I wouldn’t give to have one of her chicken pies today!
Honestly, I haven’t made many chicken pies over the years. Savannah and I love them but Wes and Greg did not care for them until recently. However, do you remember me telling you about a wonderful $1 thrift store cookbook find a couple of weeks ago? I posted the Brown Sugar Pie from the book. Well, this is another recipe from the same cookbook! It is truly turning out to be a treasure! The name of the book is A Love Affair with Southern Cooking by Jean Anderson, and it could be the best $1 I have ever spent!
The gravy in this pie is spectacular! The addition of sage and thyme are simply delicious. Sage can be a bit overpowering, but this 1/2 teaspoon is perfect for this size pie! I dare to say, this pie may even be better than Bo’s. I have changed the original recipe slightly to better suit our taste. This recipe, like Bo’s, does not have peas or carrots. I made individual pies but you can make one big pie. I added a sprinkling of frozen peas and some cooked carrots to Savannah’s pie. You may notice that two different crusts are pictured above. I used puff pastry, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with salt and pepper for a couple of my individual pies. For the other pies I made a biscuit crust and added about 1 1/2 teaspoons of everything seasoning, brushed with egg wash and sprinkled additional everything seasoning on top. Use your favorite biscuit recipe or make half of the Homemade Biscuit recipe, also found on NJSD. Add 1 1/2 tsp. of the everything seasoning blend to the biscuit mixture (recipe below), and roll to between 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick. (We love everything seasoning on omelets, pretzel dogs, rolls, and biscuits!)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, trimmed, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
- ¾ c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. rubbed sage
- ½ tsp. dried leaf thyme, crumbled
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 5 c. hot chicken broth
- 5 to 6 c. bite-size pieces cooked chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp. water
- Puff Pastry or Homemade Biscuit Crust
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Cook chicken as desired. Set aside to cool, then pick off bones.
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are limp.
- Blend in the flour, salt, sage, thyme, and pepper, then whisking hard, slowly add the hot broth. Cook, whisking all the while, for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Set the skillet off the heat, cool for 15 minutes, then fold in the chicken.
- Beat egg with 1 tbsp. water, set aside.
- Scoop the chicken mixture into individual dishes or one 9 x 13-inch dish. Brush the edge of dish with egg wash. Ease the crust of your choice over the top of chicken mixture. Allow crust to overhang the sides slightly. Brush with egg wash (you will not use all of the egg wash), sprinkle with salt and pepper or everything seasoning. Cut a few slits in the crust to vent.
- Slide the pies or pie onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
- Cool the pie/pies for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.
- 2 tbsp. dried minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. dried minced onion
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container.