Venison Pohya

When I was living with my father, the majority of the meat in our fridge was wild game, hunted by my father, brother, or brother-in-law. As an avid hunter, my father subscribes to multiple hunting magazines, including one called Field & Stream. Sometimes they publish recipes. Recently we found a traditional Native American recipe called “poyha,” a venison and corn dish.

You’ll need a cast iron pan and a food processor or blender for this recipe, so it should be considered an intermediate or advanced recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. venison
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped with white parts separated from the green
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ears corn or 2 cups frozen corn (you should only need to buy one bag)
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 2 eggs
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

Instructions:

1)  Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Add venison and cook. Stir to break up until the pink is mostly gone.

2) Add the white parts from the scallions, red onion, and garlic. Cook until fragrant and the onions are softened. Transfer the mix to a large bowl.

 

3) Add 1/3 of corn to bowl with venison.

4) Combine the remaining corn with the cranberries. Pulse in a food processor until roughly chopped but not pulverized. Transfer this to the bowl of venison, including any juice.

 

 

5) Add the eggs, green scallion, salt, and pepper. Stir. Add cornmeal and blend.

Try not to work the meat too much.

6) Wipe out the skillet. Add 1 Tbsp oil to coat the sides and the bottom. Scoop the venison mix into the skillet. Flatten with a spatula. Cover tightly with foil.

7) Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes or more.

Please don’t burn yourselves on the pan. Cast iron will retain heat as much as possible.

Final Thoughts: This was an absolutely amazing recipe! My father and I were stunned by the savory flavor with just a slight tangy sweetness from the cranberries. We both ate seconds; leftovers were gone by the next day. Well done Field & Stream. I may look for more recipes from them to try.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Venison Roast with Mushrooms

Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show where the family sits down for dinner, so they can feast on a beautifully cooked roast? I was always a little envious of the giant home-cooked meal. My family saved those kind of meals for holidays like Easter and Christmas. Sundays were usually what my mother called “scrounge night,” which meant we plundered the leftovers from the week or enjoyed a bowl of cereal. My father made simple meals of spaghetti and steam broccoli. I wanted to have a classy home-cooked meal like the Sunday roast.

I found this recipe for a roast. I used venison, but this recipe was originally designed for beef. Don’t be daunted by the thought of cooking a giant hunk of meat. It’s actually simple and amazingly delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-5 lbs.) whole beef tenderloin
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • kosher salt
  • 16 oz. cremini mushroom, halved
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • kosher salt and pepper

Instructions:

1)  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2) Rub the beef with the mustard, and season with salt and pepper.

3) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

I cut the mushrooms incorrectly! This is why you review your recipe. Cutting them this small made them shrink. There was definitely a smaller ratio of mushrooms to meat, which was unfortunate since the mushrooms were so delicious.

4) Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and into a cast iron skillet.  Place the roast over top of the mushrooms. Add butter to the top of the beef.

5) Transfer to the oven and roast for about 35-45 min. The roast is finished when the internal temperature reaches 120-125 degrees.

 

6) Remove the beef and mushrooms from the skillet to a serving plate. Cover with foil and let rest about 10 minutes.

Resting is super important! If you cut into the meat right after it’s been cooked, you’ll lose all of the juices that keep the roast moist.

7) Place the same skillet over high heat on the stove. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pain. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add butter and thyme, then continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

See how much thicker?

8. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Removing the skillet from the heat when adding cheese keeps the sauce from breaking.

Final Thoughts: I was shocked at how simple this was. The idea of a roast always seemed like a time-consuming, daunting task. It’s a beautiful looking dish. Also, smother that amazing sauce over everything. I need to get my hands on another roast. Just typing this made me want to make it again.