Mid-October… Hunting season is upon us. Once upon a time, not so long ago, I refused to eat venison. I very clearly remember a day in junior high… or high school (? – okay maybe I don’t remember it so clearly) when I shoved a PETA cartoon in my dad’s face to “teach him” how awful deer hunting was. I’m pretty sure he rolled his eyes and kept his opinions to himself, but I know he wasn’t impressed.
So, that was a long time ago. Fast forward a couple of decades, and I’m now married to a hunter. At the very least, I’ve come to appreciate a freezer full of “free” meat. And really, can you get any more “local?” I know exactly where this meat came from. I know where it lived, how it met its end, and the people who processed it. I know it didn’t get shipped thousands of miles, after being processed in multiple facilities, and probably temperature abused and contaminated numerous times.
Deer opener is in a few weeks, so we are trying to make an effort to clear out the freezer from last year’s animals. I had half a can of red curry paste in the fridge, a can of coconut milk in the cupboard, and the frost is settling in on the Thai basil outside, so I decided to make a simple coconut curry.
The steaks that we took out were awfully thin, so I was afraid of overcooking them. Rather than simmer the meat in the curry sauce, we grilled the meat, then ladled the sauce & veggies over the top. It was simple, delicious, and quick.
Red Curry with Venison and Broccoli
1 tsp vegetable oil
3-4 tbsp red curry paste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp of ginger, grated
1 can (19 oz) coconut milk
2-3 tbsp of fish sauce (more to taste)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
A handful of Thai basil (or regular basil), chopped
2 venison steaks
cooked rice, for serving
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and saute for a few minutes.
Add the garlic & ginger, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cook for ~ 10 minutes or until beginning to thicken.
In the meantime, grill the steaks according to your preference. Venison is very lean, so we tend to cook them on the pink side of medium. Cover the steaks and let them rest.
Add the fish sauce and brown sugar to the curry sauce, and continue to simmer for 1 more minute.
Add the broccoli to the saucepan, stir, and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the Thai basil.
Slice the steaks into thin pieces.
To serve, place some cooked rice into a bowl. Top with sliced venison and broccoli, and a few spoonfuls of the curry sauce.