Several years ago while hunting in Austria we had the opportunity to dine in a few nice, local restaurants that featured some simple, probably “Euro-inspired” meals that still resonate in my aging memory bank.
One was at a restaurant that probably, for lack of a better term, would be considered a chain. It wasn’t dotting the landscape like our horrid fast-food joints. Instead, just a few locations, probably well-selected for traffic, and it reminded me of an old style steakhouse with large tables, beefy plates and big glasses, hearty servings, dim but comfortable lighting and a great atmosphere.
I ordered what appeared to be an easy dish to prepare: meat and root vegetables in a pot of delicious broth. Chunks of beef were tender without being boiled into mush. So were the root vegetables — turnips, maybe some rutabega, carrots — that were fork-tender and flavorful. The broth could have held its own in a cup along with a chunk of crusty bread and few bites of cheese. It was a great meal.
I’m reminded of this after running across this recipe in The Guardian for Scottish Venison by Tom Kitchin, a chef and writer. It, too, sounds like a great meal and fairly easy to prepare. Given the holiday season and, perhaps, some time on your hands this weekend, it might be something you would like to do with your venison.
This great stuffed venison loin by Stacy Harris is another super dish to make for the holidays. It’s simple to prepare, you could modify the stuffing if you choose to do so, and it looks great on the table. Be sure to check out Harris’ super cookbooks filled with tips and great recipes, too, or her DVD that shows how she does things in the kitchen. All are fantastic for any home or deer camp.
Stuffed Venison Loin
2 venison loins, butterflied
½ cup breadcrumbs
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, cheeses, olive oil, basil, and garlic.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Butterfly the two loins.
3. Spread filling evenly over the loin. Roll up the loin and truss.
4. Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in smoking hot cast iron skillet. Brown loins on all sides. Place loins in 350-degree oven for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan. Let rest. Slice into 1-inch pieces. Serve with homemade mashed potatoes, rice, carrots, green beans, or salad.