Venison & Broccoli

 
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I was thinking about food memory recently. The way a ripe tomato so perfectly evokes a sweltering summer day. About how much better I feel when I even think about chicken noodle soup. More idiosyncratic things too- the joie de vivre after a bottle of wine and homemade caviar, the peppery bite of an arugula flower, picked singly while taking a walk. Images of wholesomeness, a life well lived.

We don’t always get to live that life. The dishes we turn to when we’re stressed out, exhausted, or just plain out of time are part of our food memory too. For us, that food is Chinese delivery. When Wade and I hit the point where we’re weighing delivery options, we’ve already run desperately low on resources. Mental, physical, material. When I’m in that state, it can be hard to appreciate the food that’s put in front of me. Bad day, bad food. But that’s not fair. Because here’s the thing- when was the last time you turned to an heirloom tomato after a breakup? Was your unexpected layoff assuaged by artisanal chevre?

We’re quick to condemn the foods that have our backs when things get bad-bad. Guilty by association, I guess. We deny them even the label of “comfort food,” because comfort food isn’t really about the food at all- its about having someone else there to fuss over you. So with this recipe, fuss over it a little. Make it nice. Give credit where credit is due. Yeah, this is inspired by Chinese takeout, but let it shine. It’s had your back.


 
 
 

Venison & Broccoli


Prep time: 1.5 hours

Serves: 4

 

Marinade:

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1-2 lb venison eye of round, whole


Marinate venison. After around 1 hour, remove from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Sear in medium-high heat pan with a little bit of oil for two minutes, flip and sear for another two. Place in oven preheated to 350F, roast for 4-6 minutes. Remove from oven and pan, allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice.

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Sauce:

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry

½ cup oyster sauce

½ cup venison stock

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp cornstarch

Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in small saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch. Bring to a simmer, whisk until thickened, and remove from heat.

To Serve:

1-2 crowns of broccoli, blanched

2 cloves garlic, minced

Heat a small amount of oil in deep sided pan until almost smoking. Add broccoli and lightly season with salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes, just until the edges get dark, then add in garlic. Stir for 1 minute. add in ⅔ of the sauce, stir, remove from pan.

To serve, plate over white rice. Drizzle remaining sauce generously over the dish, and garnish with chopped scallion, sesame seed, and chili flakes.