Venison, Woods-to-Table Taste Sensation
bigger and tear the meat when threading in a way that the smaller bamboo ones don’t.
Suit Yourself With Seasonings
The herb-and-spice mixture can be adjusted to suit your palate when you are mixing all the ingredients together. For example, when I created this recipe, I first tried the mixture with less garlic, hot pepper flakes and salt. To test for seasoning, I made a 1-inch-round ball and cooked it in the microwave for a few seconds. If it tasted too bland, I kept experimenting until I had the desired amount of spiciness in the raw mixture. Once when I made these I didn’t have cilantro on hand, so I used various other herbs from my garden including rosemary, oregano, chives, basil and thyme. I also threw in a few fennel seeds. So the herb and spice blend is not strict. You may want to try it this way the first time, then the next time use your own combination of fresh herbs and spices from your pantry.
- 1 pound ground venison
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (or smoked Spanish paprika)
- 3/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pita bread
- Equipment: 6 (10- or 12-inch-long) bamboo skewers (See Soak Your Skewers above.)
- Oiled baking sheet
Mix all ingredients together and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove skewers from water and shake off excess; firmly pack meat mixture around the skewers in 3-inch-long, 1-inch-thick links—two to a skewer.
Place skewers on the oiled baking sheet and carefully turn them to lightly coat the meat with oil. Remove skewers from the sheet carefully and place them on a grill heated to medium. Cook 10 to 15 minutes—carefully and gently turning them halfway through. A metal spatula gently pushed under the kebabs helps to turn them.
Serve sandwich style in freshly grilled pita bread. Top the kebabs with fresh, chopped tomatoes and Tzatziki.
Serves 4 to 6
Venison Green-Chile Stew
Green-chile stew is one of my favorite fireside comfort foods—not one that I grew up with, however. Since my first visit to northern New Mexico many years ago, that state’s signature dish calls to me on snowy Missouri nights. It is traditionally made with beef or