Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In The Kitchen : Venison Ragu

Ryman approved
In the Fonty house, there is no shortage of venison. We have a freezer stocked with sausage, chili meat, steaks, backstrap, you name it, from Mr's ranch. It is such a treat to have so much good meat at our disposal, but since I didn't grow up eating venison, I've had to learn how to cook it - the main challenge, not letting it get chewy and over-cooked.
I was thrilled when I came across this ragu from Mario Batali's Babbo. You braise (my favorite way to cook meat) the venison to create a decadent ragu sauce. Our house smelled incredible, like I had been slaving all night, but really the hands on time is about 15 minutes. I imagine this sauce will freeze really well too. We have a new winter staple on our hands.  
I served our ragu over a Peppardelle, but Babbo serves it over Tagliatelle. I think Rigatoni or even Polenta would be a great base. 
Babbo Venison Ragu
Serves 6
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound venison shoulder, cut into ½ inch chunks
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup dark porter beer
2 cups chicken stock
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (I am not a huge rosemary fan, and found this to be a bit too much)
poppy seed tagliatelle
Asiago cheese, for grating
In a 6 to 8 -quart, heavy bottomed casserole or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is just smoking. Season the venison chunks with salt and pepper and sear the pieces on all sides until browned, turning with long-handled tongs. You may have to work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
To the same pan, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook them until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir through and cook until rusty red brown, about 7 minutes. Add the wine, beer, stock and rosemary and bring the mixture to a boil. Return the meat to the pot submerging it in the liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the meat is tender and falling apart, about 1 ½ hours.
With a small ladle, skim the fat from the surface of the sauce and cool until reduced to the consistency of a very thick sauce. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add the tagliatelle and cook in the boiling water until tender yet al dente, about 1 minute. Drain well.
Ladle 2 to 3 cups of the ragú into a 12 to 14 inch sauté pan, and stir for 1 minute over high heat. Add the pasta to the sauté pan with ragu. Toss gently over medium heat to coat the pasta with the ragú, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 6 heated plates and grate Asiago over each bowl. Serve immediately.
After searing the venison, saute the vegetables in the juices. It give so much flavor
Make a paste

Let simmer for 1.5 hours

1 comment:

  1. PW is going elk hunting in November and he bought the world's largest freezer for all the meat...I am DYING at the prospect of having to consume it!! I'm not a game eater, but your recipe looks delicious and maybe *maybe* I could pretend it was beef...