Leon Trotsky once said that you may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. When this deer – or, rather, doe — went for a drink of water to a stream last November, she was not interested in my Curing Chamber, but my Curing Chamber was interested in her.
I’m not a big fan of Trotsky. Despite some glorification in the West by perpetually rebelling kids of all ages, the man justly belongs to the elite group of “10 greatest sociopaths of 20th Century.” I have to note that the exclusivity of that club only underlines the extraordinary criteria for addition: the last century was particularly generous for giving birth to mass maniacs. Trotsky’s exceptional organizational talents were brutally effective as much as his oratory that would put to shame Cicero and boys from health-wealth-prosperity brainwashing machine. Back in Ukraine, every grandma in any village uses “lying like Trotsky” idiom without having any clue who was that damned Trotsky. By the way, his granddaughter is the head of NIDA. I heard her on NPR once and she’s also appeared on 60 minutes a few years ago. She seems to be a remarkable individual without any traces of venerable grandpa’s pathologies.
After almost six months of dry-curing, this sausage developed light burgundy tone, getting much darker shade on the border. I’m tempted to compare it with the color of the blood on Trotsky’s hands, but I won’t. On another hand, Trotsky was fond of Minimalism; so is my sausage with BP, Chianti, and only hints of Cardamom and Poivre du Sichuan. The sausage was stuffed into two hog bladders that performed a similar task in pig’s body to that of comrade Trotsky in the Bolshevik revolution. The only difference between them lies in how my deer and Leon ended their journey on our side of eternity. The deer received a bullet, Trotsky – an ax to the head as a parting gift from his old Georgian comrade Joseph.
8030gr deer meat;
547 gr hand-cut mangalitsa back-fat.
Deer meat was cubed and received 2.55% sea salt, 0.25% cure#2; 0.03% cardamom, 0.4% BP, 0.3% dextrose, 0.1% Poivere du Sichuan, and 650 ml Chianti. It was rested in a refrigerator overnight before being sent through 2mm plate of a merciless grinder. If I were Trotsky, I’d find an easy explanation why I’ve added wine on the evening before, not after grinding, but whom am I kidding? The cultures were added prior staffing, although it would make sense to do that before the wine and together with dextrose. I know, a bit unorthodox. Yet, Trotsky had orthodox roots. Look where that got him!
After three days of fermentation, the sausages were sent to exile with the hope of curing. Unlike in Trotsky’s case, it worked. And worked well…
The first sausage weighed 5.1 kg at the beginning with 2.6kg at the end; second went from 4.4kg to 2.1kg. As evident from photos, there is some case hardening. It’s hard to avoid it with hog bladders and prolonged curing. Yet, the problem will disappear after some time in the vacuum. At least, that’s what Stalin hoped when he kicked Trotsky out of the country…
At this point, I resign my attempts to ascribe “Trotskyite” traits to this sausage. The “venison” flavor\smell is totally absent. Overall taste is even, somewhat funky, sweet, and not tangy. Unlike Trotsky’s sparkling writing style, some slight spiciness of PB is evident, but not right away. If I didn’t know what went to the sausage, I’d guess that it was white pepper with nutmeg and something sweet. At the end, I got an interesting sausage that pairs well with strong washed ring cheese and something sparkling from the wine department.