Chef Myron’s 20 Guage Game Sauce
Venison (or other red game meat) round or shoulder
Salt pork or bacon
and/or olive oil
Sweet Red or green Peppers
Canned or fresh plum tomatoes
Fresh or dried herbs of choice (oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme or sage)
— Serve with polenta or pasta —
Note from Chef Myron:
“Cacciatore” = hunter style, comes from Italian word for hunter or cacciatore. It typically means a dish prepared in rustic or country style in which meats and vegetables are cut in course pieces and stewed slowly in a wine sauce which may or may not contain tomatoes but often included carrots, celery, mushrooms and fresh herbs. Use your tougher venison cuts for this dish such as leg or shoulder meat. Do finish it with the Gremolata for delicious authenticity!
Partially defrost meat (if frozen) until possible to cut.
Slice into approx. two inches by one half inch thick strips or “scollpini” while meat is still a bit frozen. (It is a lot easier to cut when partially frozen).
Place in a zip lock bag with enough MYRON’S 20 GAUGE GAME SAUCEto coat all meat. Toss well to coat, squeeze out all air and seal. Allow to completely defrost in marinade. Depending on age of animal and particular muscle, marinate from 2 hours to overnight. (Use more 20 GAUGE if the animal was an older, tougher one).
Cut peppers, onions and mushrooms in large pieces or slices rather than chopped and place in a bowl. (Remember it is a rustic country style dish).
Render minced bacon or salt pork with olive oil in large heavy pot over med. Heat. Fry until “cracklins” (called scrunchins in Newfoundland), turn crisp and golden. Remove “cracklins”. Get fat almost smoking.
Put a cup of white flour in a large bowl, dust one piece of venison at a time and add carefully to the fat. Dont crowd the pot and let them brown up, shaking the pot and using tongs or spatula to turn and to keep meat from sticking.
Remove from pan back to bowl. Leave the brown stuff on the bottom (its called “fond”) there.
Add a bit more oil or fat to the pot if necessary. At medium heat, add garlic and all vegetables to the pot and saut until limp and slightly caramelized (light brown). Be careful not to burn.
Go light on the tomatoes and smush them between your fingers to break them up and add them to the pot.
Add 2-4 Tbs. CHEF MYRON’S 20 GAUGE GAME SAUCE and 1 C. red wine and scrape the bottom with a spatula to get the fond into the mix. Add the meat back in gently and cover with the sauce. Cover and reduce to simmer. Simmer SLOWLY (a few bubbles at any one time), for several hours until meat is tender.
“Gremalata” The typical Northern Italian, optional but classical and delicious garnish: Finely mince parsley, garlic, capers and anchovies. Make 1 Tsp lemon zest on course side of grater and mix in. Sprinkle on cacciatore just before serving. Serve with polenta (cornmeal porridge), risotto, gnocchi or ziti and of course, the rest of the wine!
POLENTA: Bring 2 C. water or light broth to a boil. Add half tsp salt (and optional, grated cheese, pepper or herbs). Slowly sprinkle in half C. of yellow corn meal stirring with a whisk while pouring. Continue stirring for 15 min while simmering. Off heat and cover for 15 min. Allow to harden into loaf. Slice with wet knife into three quarter inch slices and fry gently in olive oil until a big crusty. Serve under the cacciatore.