Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My Wisconsin Roots are Showing: Blueberry Venison?
One of the very vivid memories I have of my childhood takes place during the weekends of deer season. For the kids, these weekends marked a time to get together and play. But, the adults had more serious tasks in mind -- namely putting up venison meat for the winter! The men handled the dirty work, taking care of the hides and the bones. The women handled the finer details of chopping up the venison into steaks and chops.
In addition to the sights and smells (some of which taught me candid lessons about the circle of life), I remember my father carrying on about the extraordinary merits of the venison tenderloin -- the tenderness of it. The way that you could tell what sort of life the deer had by the flavor of this delicate piece of meat. I was always astounded by his ability to take so much from something that I saw as just another piece of meat.
So, when he brought me a package of frozen venison tenderloin a couple of months ago, I tucked it away in a safe corner of the freezer. After all, I'd have to find something special to do with it. I never figured that special something would have anything to do with blueberries.
But... I couldn't think of a better use for all that leftover blueberry barbeque sauce than pairing it with some game.
So, we put the venison tenderloin on the grill.
And alongside, we threw a handful of some luscious green beans that we'd purchased at the farmer's market.
The beans came off the grill looking just fabulous -- meltingly tender, super sweet, and slightly smoky.
And that venison?
Oh. My. It was good.
Straight off the grill with a dollop of that blueberry barbeque sauce... it was reinvented.
I don't have memories of food like this from my childhood.
In fact, this was an experience beyond most that happen in our simple little kitchen.
I think this is something I'll need to share with my dad.
Recipe: Burp's Blueberry Barbeque Sauce
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