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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Grilled venison

Growing up my Dad was a hunter, we got used to wild game. My family always knew where our food came from, either from dads hunting, the market, or the farm. Not did I only aquire a taste for wild game but I also realized that hunted animals living wild eat their natural diet, not a factory farm. You could easily use this recipe for beef, lamb or pork but try a game meat if you can hunt (pardon the pun) down a supplier. Look for a high end butcher shop.

Ingredients:

Venison, elk or moose (chops or steaks)
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
One lemon
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
Olive oil
Dry red wine (Chianti preferred) decanted
Pinch per steak of dried sage or oregano
Pinch per steak of crushed fennel seed

Put chops or steaks in a tray to marinade, add olive oil, and other ingredients except for the wine, salt and lemon, try using your hands to rub in the minced garlic into the meat fibres. Allow meat to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes. If preparing chops hours ahead of time refrigerate meat until ready to cook but allow to come to room temperature 30 minutes before hitting the grill.

Light a propane or charcoal BBQ at high heat for 5-7 minutes. Using a cloth oil the grill. Just before cooking now add a splash of wine and salt to each steak then add the steaks to BBQ, cook meat about 3 minutes per side until desired donness is achieved. Medium to medium-well is probably best. Transfer cooked meat to heated plates or a clean tray and squeeze of lemon juice to taste and a drizzle of olive oil if preferred. If not serving straight away cover meat with foil until ready to serve but keep warm.

I think the best way to enjoy grilled meat is with a glass of red wine, a side salad or steamed or boiled greens, kale chips and other steamed veggies. Hit the salad or veggies with red wine vinegar, lemon and oil as this will compliment the meat.

Enjoy, try it out and leave a comment

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