I have been reading Chicklets in the Kitchen for quite some time, ever since Abigail advertised the blog in a different venue, and I have posted a number of comments from time to time, even winning a cookbook. This past weekend, I was convinced to write a guest article on one of the dishes that I make, and in this case it happens to be venison curry.
There is a bit of history with this recipe, which is not my own. I originally got this recipe a couple of years ago from an on-line friend who posted it to what can only be described as a “gun-nut” blog, called “Zombie Squad.” While I am not a gun nut, I did find this post to be quite useful, and I now base all of my curry explorations on it.
You might be asking, “Jon… where are you getting venison? You’re not a gun nut, so you probably aren’t a hunter either, and you can’t buy venison easily.” Well, that has a story to it as well. A number of years ago, a friend of my mother’s gave her some venison as a gift. My mother graciously accepted it, despite not really wanting to eat any of it. She eats one hamburger a year, and the rest of her meat protein comes from fish and fowl… no red meat. Instead, she handed off this meat to me. It was coming close to the faire, and I decided that instead of consuming it all for myself, I would instead share it out with my friends at the faire. What better place to consume venison than at a medieval faire, right? This is what I did, and afterwards I told my mother what I had done, that I had taken the meat and shared it out to others as a gift at a faire, giving them a culinary experience that is not easy to come by. My mother then related this to her friend, who loved it so much that she now gives my mother all kinds of interesting bits of protein for me to share out the same way.
I cook for one of the acting groups that participates in the faire, and I know a number of folks that also work the faire, including Chicklet’s own Abigail Sharpe and Lis’Anne Harris. I do this pretty much every year now, since I have access to some interesting cuts of meat. I made the curry at the faire on a single gas-powered burner, and it was loved by all those that I was able to convince to try it. I also sent a decent sized bowl over to the SCA booth for them to sample, and the reviews came back raving. You know you have done well with a dish when you hand over a bowl to someone, they take a bite, and their eyes fly open in amazement and they start babbling on about why their folks can’t make food like this.
- Sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil in a large skillet until translucent. When I do it, I start the onions first, and once they are about half done, I add in the garlic. The onions tend to take longer to cook through, and you don’t want to burn your garlic.
- Add in the cumin powder, stirring constantly… be careful not to burn the cumin.
- Place into a decent sized pot that will hold everything the canned tomatoes (both the sauce and diced tomatoes).
- Add the onions and garlic to the pot, then get ready to brown off the meat.
- Add your ground or chopped meat to the skillet now and start to brown it off. Adding a bit of salt to the meat will help with flavor.
- Add curry powder and raisins, then mix well. The curry powder will thicken the sauce, and the raisins will soak up all that wonderful curry flavor.
- Allow to simmer for… a while. There is no real time measurement for this, but the longer you let it go, the thicker it will get.
- A couple minutes before serving, add in the cream and mix well, then allow to heat back up to a simmer. This tends to bring spiciness down a bit. When I ate it this past weekend, there was a good strong kick on the palate at first, but no burning afterwards… you knew you had eaten something spicy, but that was all.
Serve over rice.
(I was not able to serve this over rice at the fair, but people enjoyed it all the same.)
A couple of notes:
- The raisins will continue to soak in moisture and juices. If you store this in the fridge for 24 hours. they will swell back up to the size of grapes, but they will be curried grapes… delicious!
- As this rests over time, it will tend to get spicier and have more of a kick.
- If you want to kick up the spiciness, try adding in some sambal oelek.
Thanks for sharing this with us, Jon! Now for the questions. 😉