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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Deer Thai Curry

Curry and vegetables prior to adding the deer meat

Sometimes it seems that there are only so many recipes for deer meat.  This is not actually true but it sure seems that way when you're in a cooking rut.  Earlier this year I was doing lots of slow cooked, rare roasts, pot roasts, and stir fries.  Our family desperately needed some variety.  Enter Thai curry!

Thai curry is easy, different, and super tasty.  It's easy to cook because you can buy the curry paste at Safeway.  Basically all you need to buy is a can of coconut milk, some ginger root, and the paste (see bottom photo of the paste I bought in the Asian section of Safeway).  All the rest of the ingredients you can freelance depending on what you have in the fridge or outside in the garden.  I don't think you even absolutely have to have the ginger root either.

The directions for the curry are right on the container - basically 50 grams of curry paste (a little bit more than 3 tablespoons) with a can of coconut milk.  The directions call for cooking the meat in oil and then adding the paste and milk, and then the vegetables last.  But since it is wild game I do not like to over cook the meat.  So I cook it in peanut oil first and add just a little bit of curry paste (maybe a teaspoon full).  Then before the meat is cooked thru I remove it and set it aside in a bowl.

Now comes the part when you can freelance - what vegetables do you have on hand?  Last night I cooked up an onion in oil and grated some ginger in with it.  Then I added 2 red peppers, asparagus spears and string beans.  At this point I added the 3 tablespoons of green curry paste (I actually prefer the red curry and yellow is my least favorite) and stirred it into the vegetables.  Then I added the can of coconut milk and 1/2 the same can of water.  I used the coconut milk can to measure the water so as to get all the coconut flavor possible.  I then added kale from my garden and brought the whole pot to a low simmer (top photo).

Once the vegetables seemed done I re added the already cooked deer meat (second photo).  I used a deer backstrap from a sitka blacktail I shot last August.  There is no better deer meat than August sitka blacktail.  But shoulder, and hindquarter deer meat would work well too - I'd stay away from calf, shank, neck, and other cuts with lots of connective tissue.  Such cuts require longer cooking times and tend to be tough.  For this recipe tender cuts and quick cook times are best.  You want the meat still pink when you add it - preferably just before serving it.  At this time, I also added some basil leaves that I had growing on the windowsill.  While the recipe on the box did not call for basil it sure looks like basil that they got on the meal shown on the curry container (bottom photo).

I served my curry over bismati rice.  And wow is this good.  And very different from all the other ways I've been cooking deer meat.  Sometimes it is good to mix it up.  Patrick

Adding the pre-cooked deer meat to the vegetables and curry

Final touch - some fresh basil that I shredded with my hands on top just before serving over rice

The curry paste that I used - the red curry is also excellent.  I bet the brand does not matter all that much just so long as it is a paste

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