Monday, December 10, 2012

Venison in Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri originated from Argentina, where it is used as a sauce or marinade for grilled meats. Today, it is used in all kinds of cuisines. Countries like Uruguay, Southern Brazil, Bolivia, Ecaudor and Mexico all have their own versions of chimichurri. The sauce is simply made with oil, vinegar and a combination of common herbs and spices like cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and parsley. Because of its acidic element, it makes the ideal marinade for tenderizing tougher cuts of meat. While everyone hails over venison inside straps and outside loins, leg meat is often under-utilized, to be thrown in the hamburger or jerky pile. But if you
take enough care and time to properly separate all the different leg muscles on a deer, you will find that you can get some pretty decent pieces for grilling. We like to cut them up to get little steaks, like so. Oftentimes, they prove to be just as tender as any backstrap. 

Servings: 2
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5-8 minutes
Ingredients:
- 1 lb. of venison, whatever cut you like
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup of onion, chopped
- half a jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 tbs. of dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, plus more

1. In a large nonmetal bowl, combine 1/4 tsp. of salt, red wine vinegar, garlic, jalapeno and onion. Allow ingredients to marry for 10 minutes. 

Next, stir in cilantro, parsley and oregano. With a fork, whisk in oil. Remove some chimichurri to a small bowl to reserve as sauce. Season with salt, to taste.
2. Remove all silver skin and fat from venison. Season lightly with salt, to taste. 
Give the chimichurri sauce another quick whisk. Add venison to the bowl and coat thoroughly. Marinate covered for at least 1 hour.

Our meat was cold. We marinated for 1 hour at room temperature so the meat would be immediately ready for the grill. If you plan to marinate longer or ahead of time, stick it in the fridge.
3. Once marinated, grill venison over direct heat for 2-3 minutes each side for medium-rare. Don't overcook. 

Allow meat to rest for 5 minutes. The smell will be fantastic!

We served our venison with hasselback potatoes, which is the swedish version of a baked potato: Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub potatoes, but leave skin on. Cut potatoes almost all the way through. Drizzle with olive oil, butter, salt and pepper. Stuff sliced garlic between the intervals of potato. Cover in foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Open up foil at the end to allow skin to crisp.
Spoon reserved sauce over grilled venison. Enjoy!

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