Sunday, January 31, 2010

Venison Jerky

About two years ago I bought a book by Nick Sandler and Johnny Acton called Preserved - an excellent book in my opinion. In it is a guide on how to make venison jerky and as I have access to a large amount of venison i decided to give it a go. I deboned two legs (this time a sika shot in the Wicklow mountains) and cut it into strips about 5cm thick. I seasoned the strips with salt and pepper and dipped them in cider vinegar. The book recommends a hanging the meat by hooks in a wooden box and attaching a lightbulb to the floor of the box which is turned on - luckily i have a dog's kennel that i was able to convert for this purpose and it worked really well - and took about 3 days. (By the way my dog only spent one night in there and i gave it a really good clean inside before I used it, Poppy is currently happily living inside our house and has forgiven us for attempting to make her live in a little shed in the cold).

Venison sausages

[This is a pic on the farm at home in Co. Wicklow in Jan 2010]

Was given an entire deer carcase (fallow) which was shot on Drumoland estate, Co. Clare on the 12th Jan. I butchered it a week later and got someone to film it - hope to attach it to this blog sometime soon.

Decided to make two different kinds of venison sausage one traditional recipie - garlic and sage - and the other a recipe which I made up myself which used some Willies Supreme Cacao Venezuelan Black which a friend gave me and fresh red chillies and red currant jelly to sweeten it all up. Wasn't able to get my hands on any fresh outdoor bred pork (so often the case in Ireland sadly) so had to use the regular stuff - 30 percent of the meat in the sausages was pork fat and about 10% breadcrumbs. Both types of sausages turned out great - moist and good texture. What was interesting about the choc and chilli ones was that they really tasted strange on their own but with creamy mash and red cabbage was absolutley out of this world!
Managed to get about 2kg of sausage casings today so you can expect alot more sausage chat from me in the coming months.