About this blog...

Food has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember. Food and the festivities surrounding its arrival to the table has always been a focal point in our family. For many years I have been amassing the cookbooks, recipe cards, cooking journals, diaries, manuscripts and clipping files of our once extensive family.

Personally, I’ve been professionally involved with food for over 40 years in numerous and varied culinary capacities across the country so I also have the collected stories, as well as current and on-going food-related experiences from my own life I’d like to share.

My idea has long been that someday I would bring all of this marvelous raw material together into a culinary journey through our family’s heritage. This journal is the beginnings of that journey.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Venison Swiss Steak

This is another recipe I developed after my truck vs deer encounter in 1987.  Much of the meat was very tender and needed only brief cooking but some of the cuts, naturally, were tougher so a few braised dishes evolved to deal with them.

True story...
We had my sister over to our house in Millerton NY for dinner one night and served my Venison Swiss Steak.  She liked it so much she asked for some venison and the recipe so she could make it for some guests she was entertaining in a few weeks.   I was happy to comply.

The day of her dinner party I get a call... 
"David, there's something wrong with my Swiss Steak.  It doesn't taste like yours".  My sister is not shy about calling me, her private cooking hot-line, whenever she has a culinary question and I try to help here out.  This time I just asked her to go through the recipe as she had made it, hoping to find where the problem was.  It didn't take long.  
"...so then I added the 4 crushed cloves", she went on.
"The what?" I asked.
"CLOVES, the recipe calls for crushed cloves".
"Ummmm... I don't think so.  Check again."
"Oh-Noooo!.  The recipe calls for 4 cloves... of GARLIC! I didn't read the whole line!"  "I thought that cloves were a funny ingredient for Swiss Steak, but wanted to follow the recipe".

Well you can't really get the flavor of cloves out of a sauce like that but it all turned out OK and her guests liked HER version of Venison Swiss Steak just fine. 

Venison Swiss Steak

2 lbs cubed venison leg steaks
well seasoned flour (salt, pepper, onion & garlic) for dredging
8 oz bacon fat (or lard)
1 lb diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
1 pt water
1 each large onion, copped
1 each medium bell pepper, thick julienne cut
4 cloves GARLIC, crushed
salt & pepper

  1. Cut steaks into serving-size pieces. 
  2. Season the steaks with salt & pepper. 
  3. Dredge the meat well in the seasoned flour.
  4. Brown both sides of meat well in the bacon fat (or lard). 
  5. Pour the remaining ingredients over the steak and simmer over low heat until meat is tender.  Add more water, if necessary, to keep the meat partially covered. 
  6. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

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