Except it wasn’t really beef. Hence the quotation marks.
It was venison. And it was the best part of the venison–the backstrap. “Sweet meat,” as the Hubs labeled on the freezer package. Indeed, it was.
I think that is what made it so delicious. The backstrap is the inner smaller tenderloin. And it was so tender it was ridiculous. We both agreed it was probably the best use of deer meat ever.
We are still on our New Year’s health kick, and eating venison is a great way to get the benefits of eating red meat (particularly iron) without the downside (saturated fat). Venison is super lean. And is even higher in iron and other beneficial vitamins than conventional beef is. For the same reason that grass-fed beef is better. The diet of the animal grass rather than corn. (Deer eat corn, but it’s such a small portion of their diet, it really doesn’t have any effect on the nutritional make-up of the meat.)
This recipe is permutation of a recipe I’ve made before that was a permutation of another recipe. Oddly, almost exactly a year ago, I made Asian Fusion Venison and Broccoli Pasta. I called it fusion because it was kinda Asian, but I used homemade fettuccini rather than soba or rice noodles. It was a twist on a pasta salad recipe that called for venison and broccoli from my Simply in Season cookbook. This time, I left out the cabbage because I didn’t have any, and used half a red onion. And served it over brown rice. And it was amazing.
Once again, here’s the recipe how I made it:
“Beef” and Broccoli (serves 2)
3/4 pound of venison tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch slices*
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 red onion
2 Tb coconut oil
1 Tb fresh ginger root, minced
1 Tb miso paste
2 Tb soy sauce
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tb corn starch
1 1/2 tsp sugar (I used Florida Crystals Pure Cane Demerra Sugar)
1 glove of garlic, minced
Dash red pepper flakes
Dash of pepper
Mix soy sauce, cold water, miso, garlic, ginger, corn starch, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside. Heat the coconut oil in a wok (or a large skillet) until hot (You can test the wok to see if it is hot enough by dropping a drop of water on a dry part of the wok to see if it sizzles and evaporates). Add broccoli and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes, or until broccoli begins to turn bright green and begins to get tender. Add onion and stir well again. Cook for another minute or so, until onion begins to soften. Add venison and stir well. Cook for five minutes or so, until venison is browned on all sides. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and to get even browning on the meat. Cook a few more minutes (depending on how done you want your venison–just done in the middle is fine with me.) Add red pepper flakes, pepper and soy sauce mixture and stir well to coat everything. Turn off heat. Sauce will thicken quickly. Keep stirring and remove from heat when it reaches the desired consistency. Be careful, it will burn easily. Serve over rice.
*You can easily use beef in this recipe. Substitute stew meat or even flank steak cut in thin strips. Adjust cooking time to ensure doneness.
I think the thing that makes this recipe was the fresh ginger. It gave it that little extra bite. And this dish is so healthy. Broccoli is a great source of fiber and vitamins, venison is super-high in iron. Coconut oil used to get a bad rap because it is high in saturated fat–but as it turns out, it isn’t high in the kind that hurts your heart and health. It actually has quite a few health benefits. And it’s a GMO-free oil that can stand high heat. (This whole meal isn’t GMO free, I realize, but oil is a great place to start eliminating GMO foods). It’s great for stir-fries. It does have a slight coconutty flavor, but that works well with many Asian and Eastern cuisines.
Too bad there are only two backstraps per deer. I could easily eat this once a week.