This recipe started out with a gift. A gift that caused a downward spiral of doubts and conflict.
We moved to our new house in the woods two years ago, and since then only once briefly met our left side neighbors, who own a nice big chunk of land.
Finally two weeks ago I called them and asked them to stop by for a visit. The visit turned out quite nice, they are very friendly and nice people, but the husband is a hunter. RED LIGHT ON: I have extremely ambivalent feelings about hunting. Soooo, when he ran home and came back with a giant bag full of venison and antelope cuts as a gift I had to say thank you and look very excited, as I really want to keep good neighborly relations, but my heart was kind of sinking.
The scarier part, for me, was that I was also quite excited to try all this new wild meat.
That night, about 4 am, I woke up with my conscience nagging. Of course I could not fall back asleep…
You MUST understand how much I LOVE animals. We live on a few acres of land and have 17 pets. Cats, dogs, geese and my most precious and beloved ducks. We do get eggs, and don’t even THINK about plucking one feather….
Such an inveterate carnivore as I am you would think I have no problem killing for my meat, well, YOU ARE RIGHT! I should NOT have problem doing it. I am a firm believer in self-sufficiency and raising my own meat humanely, but the last (and only) time I tried to cut a meat chicken’s throat (that we had raised) I was a sobbing mess in about 5 secs and even I managed to kill that one, I never killed anythingelse since.
HUMANELY RAISED VS WILD
I used to think hunting deer was a sustainable thing to do, seeing the deer overpopulation and their destruction of delicate ecosystems, but then I read few articles about how certain states actually feed deer so they can maintain large herds to keep hunters coming back and make bank form the permits.
Does this fit the sustainable diet dilemma? I guess it could, if you hunted your deer where it was actually needed. BUT sustainable or not, I would NEVER be able to kill a deer, maybe only if my own very survival depended on it.
Do I think humanely raised meat is more sustainable? Yes, I actually do, as in pasture models like Joel Salatin’s for example. Would I be able to kill my own humanely raised animal. NO!
After all this ranting and conscience biting I can only come to one conclusion: I am a hipocrit! I must be one. I should be a vegetarian otherwise. But my body loves meat, especially red meat (I am an O blood type) and I feel great when I eat it.
What is a girl to do? I am not sure. Until now the closest I could get to a resolution to my dilemma has been to buy the best possible meat (local, organic, sustainable, humanely raised) or raise it myself – and let the husband kill it!
I am still far from pleased by this compromise, but I am a human animal, well, we all are, and in nature everybody eats everybody and they don’t think twice! I’d like to think I am just a part of nature and have to follow the rules, but at the same time I have a conscience, and maybe that is really what gives us humans a special place in the scheme of things.
What do YOU think about this?
- 2 tablespoons lard or ghee
- 1 organic sweet onion
- 2 organic carrots
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 pound ground venison
- 2 cups whole dried sun-dried tomatoes
- Celtic sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh sage, finely chopped
- Soak sun-dried tomatoes in a cup of hot water.
- Peel onions and coarsely chop.
- In the meantime melt fat in a dutch oven or other heavy bottom casserole.
- Add onions to the pot and sweat on a low flame.
- Wash and trim the carrots and cut in to thin rounds.
- Add carrots to the pot.
- On the side in a large skillet brown the meat on a very high flame until evenly cooked, about 10 min.
- Add meat to the carrots and onions, and add the wine.
- Raise the flame to high to evaporate the wine.
- Add tomatoes to the pot with soaking liquid.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add herbs to the pot.
- Lower flame and cook for about 1.5 hour.
- Serve with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.