Monday, December 27, 2010

Dark Days Challenge Week 3: Bitokes a la Russe and roasted potatoes

I've made these and blogged about them before. They are a quick and tasty way to use deer burger.

The recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child. And it's just a fancy French way of sayin' "a beef dish kinda like Salisbury steak." That's what it translates to, I swear...

I should clarify, though. These aren't actually Bitokes a la Russebut a variation of the recipe. That's one of the things I like about that cookbook. There are usually a handful of variations on a master recipe, I just can't remember what this variation was called. It has a fancy French name, too. We'll just say it's the "something-like-salisbury-steak-but-with-deer-meat" dish. 
The deer burger was from one of the several deer the hubs killed last winter. We really need to use up the last couple packages of last year's deer burger. I don't like to keep it in the freezer longer than a year. That, and he just loaded up the freezer again this month. There is also an egg (Breezy Knoll Farm via Monroe Farm Market), flour and minced onions mixed in the meat. The onions are organic yellow onions from Kroger. I also added about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease I keep in the fridge from my Sandy Creek Farms bacon. The gravy on the meat was made from turkey stock from my Thanksgiving turkey bought from Almost Heaven Farm (Monroe Farm Market) in Monroe County. Butter is Land O' Lakes (booo!!! not local). And the flour in the gravy is from Reed's Mill Flours in Monroe County. The potatoes are from my father-in-law's garden and the rosemary is from a generous co-worker's herb garden. I really need to plant some of my own...

Please disregard the baked beans. They were leftover from a potluck dinner I attended last Monday. No one wanted the baked beans. So I brought them home. I like baked beans, and I couldn't bear to see them thrown out. They were most certainly NOT local. Or even SOLE. They were good, though. And I don't like to waste food.

Deer burger is tricky. It is wonderful in that it is so lean. You can substitute it for hamburger in a lot of recipes to make them healthier. But, it also has a distinct wild taste. Some people don't mind the taste. But I usually try to use it in heavily seasoned or spicy dishes that will mask the taste a bit. This recipe is an exception. You taste the deer/wild taste a little, but it's not off-putting. Could be that bacon grease... Bacon grease seems to make everything better.

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