Venison Kokinisto with Home Fries

Kokinisto is the word for red sauce, not necessarily a tomato pasta sauce but tomato based aromatic gravy. My best memory of this sauce was when my mom worked at a Greek restaurant in downtown Windsor where the sauce was put on top of potatoes or fries in place of gravy or ketchup. Deer hunting season has just finished in some parts of eastern Ontario and I was given some good cuts from my dads old hunting buddies. You could substitute any red meat (lamb, veal, beef) in this dish even pork will work.

Ingredients:

2 lb. venison cut into 1″ stewing pieces
1 large can stewing or crushed tomatoes
4 cloves
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch turmeric
Pinch sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 rib celery
1 large carrot
1 onion
10 cloves garlic
Couple sprigs fresh parsley chopped
1 cup dry white wine
Pinch sea salt
Pinch ground black pepper

For the Potatoes

8-10 potatoes cut into French fries
Good pinch of sea salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 tbsp olive oil

Take the celery, carrot, onion, garlic and spin in a food processor until finely chopped and blended together and set aside. Season the meat with salt and pepper and a bit of olive oil. Sear on an grill top for about 2-3 min per side, or in a wok over high heat but don’t overcrowd, work in batches as you will not get good grill marks if meat is crowded. Set aside meat as it gets seared on each side. Prepare a Dutch oven or corning-ware on medium high heat with a bit of olive oil, toss in the chopped up veggies from the processor. Cook for a few minutes just until you see the onion, celery, carrot and garlic begin to caramelize, add the stewed tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric, sugar, salt, pepper and the seared meat. Deglaze the grill top or wok with the white wine or just add the wine to the stew and water if necessary in order to cover the meat completely with liquid. Cover Dutch oven and simmer for at least one hour. If sauce gets too thick add more water, it should not end up too thick it really need to have a gravy like consistency.

Prepare potatoes

Preheat oven to 400*
In a bowl toss cut potatoes with the salt, pepper, olive oil and turmeric, make sure they are all well coated toss them all in one layer on a cookie sheet and cook in oven for about 25 minutes until golden crispy.

When meat is ready, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. When potatoes are ready serve as a side dish and spoon kokinisto (red sauce) from meat on top of fries. Serve with crusty bread and salad. You could use a crock pot to make the meat, this could be a main or and appetizer for a party etc.

I would serve this dish with either a white or red wine. Riesling or Pinot noir or most red wines will go well.

Enjoy and happy new year

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Turmeric Potato Wedges

3 large russet potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes (yams)
1 tbls ground turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
Ground black pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves smashed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Wash and scrub potatoes well, cut all potatoes in half lengthwise and then again cut the halves in half lengthwise, cut the quartered potatoes again if potatoes were really big, you should be able to get at least eight wedges out of one potato. In a very large bowl add the olive oil, salt, turmeric, cracked black pepper and smashed garlic cloves, mix well to flavour the oil. Preheat oven to 400. Toss the cut potato wedges in the bowl of turmeric flavoured olive oil. Make sure to mix well so that all the potatoes are coated in oil mixture, spread potato wedges on two cookie sheets and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes or until they are ready. After 15 minutes in the oven carefully turn them around. After potatoes are ready toss into a bowl and add more sea salt if desired. These potato wedges are to be enjoyed on their own, as there will be be a contrast between the sweet potatoes and the russets. No need for ketchup or ranch dressing. A drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of a lemon can be an option at the table or on individual plates.

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