Venison! Plain, simple, lean and oh so tasty. Last night my buddy Brett and I decided since our wives were still out of town on business, it was appropriate to grill something slightly different to bring in the weekend.
Curiously, I wonder if Heather and Barbara would dig on “Bambi?” It hardly matters because after last night, there was none left to share!
The grilling experience included 5 exceedingly thin venison flank steaks, grilled spiced mushrooms, baked potatoes and a sesame inspired spinach salad. As we live in Singapore, the venison cuts came to us frozen (shudder) from New Zealand but truth be told, they weren’t bad at all. The aim was to have a really “Earthy” taste to dinner, the kind you’d prepare out in the wild if you could.
The preparation for this meal took far longer than actually cooking it. So here are the instructions for at least two of the dishes served last night.
Grilled White Spiced Mushrooms
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried hot red pepper flakes
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 lb medium white mushrooms (trimmed)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Over medium heat, toast your coriander and cumin seeds for two to three minutes or until they turn a darker brown and you really smell the aroma. Let the seeds cool down fully and then place them in your spice grinder or your mortar and pestle if you prefer. Grind the seeds up into a fine powder and set aside. The smell is incredible, by the way! In a separate bowl, mash together your butter and your spice mix and add your parsley, chili flakes and garlic.
Toss your prepped mushrooms in some olive oil, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and place them on your oiled grill. Now these “shrooms” will cook very quickly. Pay attention here as you can easily walk away and let them burn. I had the grill set at about 400 degrees F and the grilling time was about 6 minutes in total. Using a pair of extra long tongs, I flipped the mushrooms a few times during the process to ensure they were cooked evenly, ensuring nice grill marks along the tops of each mushroom.
Once done, pull them off the grill and let them stand for a few minutes. You’ll quarter the mushrooms once they’ve cooled down a touch and then simply add them to your spiced butter and stir them around ensuring an even coating.
We discussed the merits of using marinades and rubs the day before last and then decided that no, since this is a specialty cut of meat not normally found in Singapore, we’re going to let the venison’s natural flavour take centre stage. That said, all I did was coat each flank steak with a bit of vegetable oil and then sprinkled each side with a good pinch of Kosher salt. That’s it! I don’t think I’ve ever prepped a cut of meat any simpler!
As the steaks were super thin, they were on the grill for only 1.5 minutes per side and then another 30 seconds or so on the original side. Pull off the steaks and wrap them in aluminium foil for a 5 minutes so that the juices redistribute throughout the steak.
Once ready, slice your venison flanks at a 45 degree angle to the grain and you’ll ensure the meat will be as tender as ever. Plate up with your spiced mushrooms, a baked potato and some salad, pour the wine and you’re ready for a hunter’s feast.
Overall Brett Rating (in Heather’s place): 9/10