Thursday, November 4, 2010
The good old days...
No, we don't live like our pioneers, riding on horseback across mountain ranges, taking days to arrive anywhere.
No. We have modern appliances and up-to-date conveniences. We even have access to world cuisine.
There are days when we hunger for simple days.
We want to rustle up some grub, the way cowboys did on those long journeys to Cheyenne, across canyons, rivers and forests. We want to forage in the woods for chanterelles, for lobster mushrooms, for wild fennel. We want to catch a trout in that cold stream and cook it up on the fire. The meat charred and falling apart, each piece sucked slowly through our teeth, each and every little bone stopped before it is swallowed.
People here still hunt for elk, bears, deer. They stock up their freezers with wild game and freshly caught fish. They spend their leisure hours procuring the same food that their ancestors did. Their spouses and children join them.
They spend days in the woods.
Sometimes they get lost, and cell phones get them rescued.
If you can get elk or bison or deer in your neck of the woods, try them. Here is a recipe for elk stew that will work well for any wild game.
Ingredients for six servings:
1 lb of elk meat, cut up into small pieces
2T oil or butter
2C combined chopped carrots, celery and onions
2 T Flour
1 C of your favorite red wine or your favorite beer
1 bundle of mixed herbs, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parsley, wild fennel fronds
Salt and pepper to taste
Drench your meat pieces in flour and fry them in a heavy pot until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Saute' the vegetables until soft. Return the meat to the pot, stir in the wine or beer, add the bundle of herbs, salt and pepper.
Cover with foil and bake at 325F for two hours.
Discard the herbs.
Serve with mashed potatoes and peas.
Elk is very lean! You may want to add butter to the juices to enrich the taste.