Deer in Burgundy

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Deer in Burgundy

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Our tastes have changed.  In the testimony to the arbitrary nature of our dining inclinations, take Jerome Loppomano’s observations:  “Pork is the habitual food of poor people, those who are really poor. But every craftsman and every merchant, however wretched he may be, likes eating venison … just as much as the rich.” That was Paris of 1557.

After lengthy noise about “wild game taste”, venison comes back as healthy, lean alternative to the commodity mass products of our agriculture that locked itself into the wheel of antibiotics and confined spaces.  Fortunately, there are now plenty of signs of hope and sources of pork that smells and tastes like…well, pork.  Since the price for such pork is reasonable while not always affordable, we shall continue utilizing good venison…

I don’t hunt. My wife, as a true Ukrainian woman, declared her veto. Each season I try to overturn it. All – in vain. At least, so far. Thankfully, I have few friends who don’t mind sharing the end-result of their luck in woods…

As a result, I have Deer in Burgundy dry-cured sausages. The choice for wine – Joseph Drouhin Hospices De Belleville Morgon 2015 –  is in gamay’s tendency to add a sparkle to the depth and evenness of deer.  Plus, about a year ago I got a box for a song…

On 15 kg of deer meat I’ve added only 273gm of manga fat.  The idea behind such ration was to make the sausage as lean as possible. Thus, it would incorporate much more wine. Anyone who worked with deer meat knows its propensity to incorporate large amount of liquid. I wanted even more…

Besides 2.5% sea salt and 0.25% cure #2, the deer meat received 0.3% dextrose, 0.2% coarsely grounded White Pepper, the same amount of brown sugar, 0.03% cloves, and 0.4% sweet pepper powder, imported from Calabria. After night in fridge in all spices and salt, the meat went through 3mm plate; than hand-cut mangalitsa fat was added together with  F-LC.  I’ve staffed about half into beef middles and half to larger collagen casings. The former was taken from the Curing Chamber after two months and three days; the latter is still losing weight there. But before they were sprinkled with mold spores and sent to the exile, the sausages went through the three days of fermentation. Weight loss – 47%, feels like 42%.

Taste: earthy, yet light. Sweet, but only a bit. “Aromatic,” but still — too even.  My intent was to make something more sparkling. Well…after this butch is devoured, we shall try again next Fall.

 

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