Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Venison Tagine?

The fall is a special time of year in New England. The changes are stark and easily recognizable. The days become shorter; the air has a crispness not felt since early spring and the leaves provide an amazing display of colors that highlight this annual transition.

Growing up I remember the smell of burning wood as people warmed their homes during the morning chill. Grassy green fields covered in dew glimmered in the soft morning light.

The fall was also a time when certain foods would return to our home. Nantucket bay scallops, stripped bass and various types of game—rabbit, pheasant and venison all represented the bounties of the fall.

I remember watching rabbit meat being coated in flour and prepared for frying. Pheasant and venison were mostly broiled and served with traditional sides—canned vegetables, mashed potatoes and an occasional sheet of cornbread. This is how grew up. Probably not very different than many American kids whose families hunted or fished.

Over the past ten years I have returned to harvesting game in the fall. I have had the blessing of harvesting many deer with a bow and arrow. My wife and I have tried a few different recipes when preparing venison. Some very traditional, and others which incorporated terriyaki marinades and some as simple as rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper. All of them have been a blessing, and we have shared many meals with family and friends.

However, this year, I plan to attempt a fusion dish. I want to incorporate the delicious Simmer Sauces from Saffron Road and make it a true East West fusion—I can see Kipling turning in his grave! I am willing to say that not many people have tried a traditional Moroccan Tagine Simmer Sauce with tender fresh venison. This represents a great opportunity to incorporate Saffron Road’s sauces with a great American tradition--harvesting a North American whitetail. I can already taste how amazing this is going to be!

I am inspired by the work of Saffron Road. They are committed to providing the highest standards of halal foods to the general public. They are making a huge impact on the industry and helping the American Muslim experience find its way to the forefront of our diverse society.

But why should I limit myself to only their sauces, that would be selling myself short? Thus, keeping in the tradition of true cross-cultural culinary "coolness"--I also plan to begin the meal with Saffron Road, Turkish Figs & Goat Cheese Hor D’oeurves. Maybe Globalization is not such a bad thing!

I have to state this publicly; I like to cook, but I am not the best chef in town. So if anyone has any tips or advice, I am more than willing to learn some new culinary possibilities.

Look for my other posts as I share my time in the woods with my bow.


  1. Have not cooked it yet. In the process right now and it smells other worldly!

  2. sA, I wonder what that smells like