Saturday, January 06, 2007

Elk Tenderloins With Roasted Vegetables

First you have to go hunt the elk. That's the hard part. It's also the fun part if you like stuff like that as my son and I do. Our hunt this year was very productive. We both brought in nice sized four to five year old bucks. The hides were given (along with some of the choice cuts) to some of the old folks on the rez. That's how we do things. This did however leave us with two tenderloins. I had a request from "shades of blue" in beautiful Hawaii for a recipe that included roasted vegetables. Since there's not a great big chance of finding venison in Hawaii I would imagine that you could substitute a pork tenderloin without much problem at all. Also, since you're trying to lose weight (and succesfully too!) I would think that you could do without the Cumberland Sauce. I have made peace with being the amount of overweight that I am (about 30lbs mostly gut paunch) to where I can enjoy something as perfect on a roasted hunk of venison as the Cumberland Sauce is.


3 lbs boned and trimmed elk tenderloins
2lbs carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces (or just use the baby guys in the little sack)
2 lbs russet potatoes, cut in half
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 lbs rutabegas or turnips cut in half
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
fresh sage leaves, bruised (rubbed between the palms)
fresh rosemary leaves, bruised
several cloves of garlic peeled and smashed

Heat your oven to 425° then spray the roasting pan down with non-stick spray (if you're using a well seasoned cast iron roaster like I do don't bother with the spray). Put the roasting pan over a high flame on the stovetop, add a splash of olive oil and sear the tenderloins well. About 4 minutes per side (all four sides).

Then add the vegetables around the tenderloins. Sprinkle them evenly with the oil, add the rosemary, sage and pepper, toss in the garlic and roast in the oven uncovered for forty minutes to an hour. This is game meat so you are wanting it fully cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 165° and the vegetables should be tender.

Take the pot from the oven and remove the tenderloins. Allow them to rest at least five minutes. This will allow the juices to work back into the meat and it won't run all dry when you slice it this way. Toss the vegetables and the pan juice around together, salt to taste and put into a nice serving bowl.

Slice the tenderloins into medallions about 1/4" thick and cover with

Cumberland Sauce INGREDIENTS

zest of one valencia orange, minced
1 cup dry port wine, or madeira
juice of 1 orange (do the zesting part first, it just works better this way)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup currant jelly (again, I swear by Trader Joe's house brand for this)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger,

Boil over a high flame the zest and the wine volume is reduced by a third. Add remaining ingredients and cook over a medium flame until jelly is melted. You can also add raisins to this, they are a nice touch. If you do, add them into the wine with the zest for the whole reduction and mingling of flavors thing.

Cumberland sauce is one of my favorite things for a game meat. It's acid enough to cut some of the gamey quality (although the backwoodsman in me kinda likes that) without being overpowering like a Bordellaise or Bernaise. It also rocks out loud if you crumble some bleu cheese over the tenderloins while they are resting, then you get that whole, velvety sharp cheesy thing going all through the meat when you slice it.

Served with a nice French Onion Soup and fresh baguettes. This is truly a meal worth the going out into the woods and hunting down part.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I Am Not the Only Smart Ass in My Family

Which is something that comforts me and hardly anyone else. My cousin, is an attorney for our nation. He had every opportunity to take his degrees (U of A/Harvard Law) and cash in big time. He chose to come back to the rez and work for our people. His main reasoning was that as a gay man he gets a lot less shit (like, none) for that on the rez. He also enjoys taking on dumbass county, state, and federal attorneys and turning them green.

He called me this afternoon to tell me about a conference he had today. The Apache wars in Arizona were not all that long ago. They were a vicious and brutal time in the history of our state. During that turmoil a lot of things like reservation boundries and treaty issues that were supposed to be decided law went up for grabs to what ever hand could take and hold them.

He has been trying to negotiate with one rancher who claims title to a large section of land that my cousin feels clearly was granted to the Apache in 1845, and again, at Geronimo's first surrender. The rancher is claiming all kinds of things, but mostly it comes down to "squatter's rights." Here is the exchange that took place this afternoon as related by my cousin, the brilliant attorney.


"My family has been on this land ranching for over one hundred and thirty years!"

My Cousin

"Then you understand our problem exactly. Good."

Big Brass Blog

Malibu Moment

On a comment thread at Blondesense on Global Warming I left a comment about something I said over the New Year's Holiday while at Malibu.

First off, I don't live in Malibu. I sometimes get to work for people that do. Sometimes, they even let me stay in the big house.

What got to me here was that I'm in a gated, gaurded estate, within a gated, gaurded community. I'm watching football, doing all that American new year's day stuff and I hear my host (and boss and friend) waxing all poetic about the dangers and hardships of living in Malibu during an El Niño year. I mean, jeezus horatio christ on a motherfucking skateboard, he was using Malibu and hardships in the same goddamn sentence.

Having no reputation as being somebody who will hold his tongue, I horned in on the conversation. Saying:
That's because you guys didn't do any basic research. Didn't the realtors tell you that Malibu is a Chumash word? It is. It means don't fucking live here white man."

Even if it ended up costing me future gigs it would have been well worth it, just to see the looks on their faces. As luck would have it, I have another gig coming up with my host/boss/friend in two weeks.