Thursday, March 8, 2012

Swiss-Style Venison Steaks

Who needs toys when you have FOUR HUGE PILES OF RED CLAY DIRT and a Lolli who will let you get as dirty as you want?

What about that landing, huh?  Is he awesome or what?
Little boys are da bomb.

And I'll tell you what else is da bomb--this recipe. 

I had in my mind to make a smothered steak dish using deer instead of beef, so I scoured the Internet for a recipe, but after reading them, I realized that none of them were what I had in mind.  (That sounded like I read ALL of them, didn't it?  I did not.) Many of them were calling for cream of mushroom soup, and I was envisioning something tomato based, so I Googled Swiss Steak and that rang the bell in my head.  I went with Alton Brown's recipe (the Worcestershire sauce was what tipped the scale in his favor), adapting it to fit my needs, and can I tell you?  I will definitely be making this again.  The deer turned out tender and the rice soaked up all the rich gravy.  Loved. 

Here are my notes:

-I added in the part about marinating the deer in Italian dressing.  This is completely optional, but I think it enhances the flavor, as well as tenderizes.  I love to keep bottles of Italian dressing around for an all-purpose marinade.

-It's really important to tenderize the deer.  Put it between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it until it's about 1/4-inch thick.

-I used a deer ham.  (Or maybe it's a roast?  I am not good with deer parts.)  It turned out nice and tender because it was slow cooked in the oven. 

-I served this over brown rice, but noodles or mashed potatoes would be great also.

-The pictures are not much to look at, but the flavor was great.

-I would have loved to throw some chopped, fresh parsley on each serving, but I didn't have any.

 Swiss-Style Venison Steaks

(Adapted from Alton Brown)

2 pounds venison ham, backstrap or tenderloin, sliced into 3/4 inch slices against the grain
1/2 cup bottled Italian dressing
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large onion, shopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Tenderize the deer by pounding it flat with a meat tenderizer between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.  Place the meat in a zip lock freezer bag with Italian dressing; seal bag and marinate overnight.

Place the flour into a pie plate. Dredge the pieces of meat on both sides in the flour mixture.
Add enough oil to just cover the bottom of a 4 to 5-quart Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the steaks to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook in batches until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a plate and repeat until all of the steaks have been browned.

Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and celery to the pot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes, paprika, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Return the meat to the pot, submerging it in the liquid. Cover the pot and place it in the oven on the middle rack. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.  Serve over rice or noodles.

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  1. Nom! You take the most gorgeous photographs. Just stunning.

    1. Thanks, Angela! I don't think this was a "pretty" recipe to photograph. It looks kind of messy on the plate, but it was really tasty.

  2. We have a freezer full of venison so I was happy to come across this recipe - I'll be giving it a try. Thank you! Also, your pictures are really lovely...

  3. that looks delicious! My daughter uses quite a bit of venison and elk, I will pass this recipe on to her.
    I am enjoying your blog....!

  4. Thank you, Little B and Puttermuch!

  5. This reminds me of my mum's mutton curry! if i ever come visiting ur part of the world, we should swap these.

  6. hi there, i came across your recipe on foodgawker today. :) i think i will make this dish this week, do you think the 1.5 hours in the oven could be converted to using a crock pot for that part?