Monday, December 10, 2012

Keeping busy in winter

We froze most of the venison we got this season, but a bunch of it we've been turning into jerky.  I have always liked jerky though I've not eaten it much in my life because I was a vegetarian for so long and because it is usually so expensive.  I never realized how simple it is to make.  All you do is cut the meat thin, sprinkle it with the cure, and dehydrate it for a few hours.  We dried it in Julie's dehydrator, but you could do it in a solar dehydrator or in a smokehouse.    That is my long term wish--to have a smokehouse. 

This jerky tastes like any you would buy at a butchers, but it's made of venison.  All of this meat was free.  A local hunter dropped off a few deer for people here to have.  Julie and I used a store bought mix for this batch, but we'd like to try it next time with our own mix so we can make it without nitrites.  It's going to be nice to have this to take along on camping trips.
Above is a piece of venison, a slice of Julie's sourdough bread, and my broccoli and cauliflower with cheese sauce.

It's really strange to be showcasing so many meat dishes, but this is what I've got lately.  This is a stew with ground pork and my home grown flour corn.  It was an experiment in making hominy (or posole) from the corn by nixtamalization.  The stew is made entirely of local ingredients.  It has chicken broth from our chickens, onions, hot pepper sauce, garlic, cilantro, and of course, the corn.  It was very good, but a little too meaty for me.  I'm still not used to having so much meat in my food.  I really liked the hominy in this though.  By simply cooking it in the stew for a while it became tender enough to add just the right texture to the stew.  It's like nothing I've ever had, but I like the effect.  It's sort of like having rice in a dish, only it's my own local grain.

This is a batch of wine I'm making this week.  It's actually from a kit that was on sale at Midwest Brewing Supplies.  I thought I'd try it because I can always use more wine.  You can't see the boiling fermenting surface, but there are tiny droplets jumping up about an inch above the surface.  I'm hoping I can get it to the secondary fermentation before we leave for the holidays.  I have about 15 gallons of wine going in my root cellar.  I've been waiting for cold weather to cool it down so it will precipitate out tartaric acid.

1 comment:

djmidwest said...

Dan I am a fan of your work at DR. I especially enjoyed your blog on re-defining economic sustainability for fellow Rabbits who have to live in 2 worlds. I have a document that is from a Group of people from the UK that want to create a sustainable rural crafts movement. Let me know if you are interested.
Dennis Moseley