Monday, November 29, 2010

Margaret River Venison Farm, 5103 Caves Road

Located on Caves Road just 12km north of the Margaret River is the Margaret River Venison Farm (on the left side if you're driving south). This place ofFers a cornucopia of carnivorous delights. Not just various fresh cuts of Bambi's mum, but also an impressive range of small goods, including venison prosciutto, venison bratwurst, venison boerwors, venison chorizo (this one is spicy), the coat of arms chorizo (cheekily named because of its kangaroo & emu contents), and even emu ham!

Not to worry if you can't make up your mind - free tastings are available for virtually all of the smallgoods on offer.  You can pretty much try before you buy, which I highly recommend, since everything is tasty!  Now if only there was a tasty beverage to wash it down ...

There was also a good variety of delectable cuts of fresh meat to rival your local city bar on a Friday night.   Out of the possible choices which included venison mince, fillets, and even a 1.5kg boneless shoulder, I went for the steaks.  The helpful lad behind the counter offered some useful advice - cook it very hot and fast, because the very low fat content in the venison means that the meat will dry out quickly and become tough and chewy if you overcook it.

Venison steak is a beatiful meat, but needs to be eaten medium rare (or less cooked if you prefer more sanguine steak).  I did my steak on a pre-heated skillet on high heat with a good dollop of olive oil to reduce the risk of the meat sticking to the pan.  Around 30-45 seconds on each side, and then using a tong, I also seared all the edges for around 15 seconds per surface, then leave it on a plate to rest for a minute.  As you can see, it's turned out beautful.  You can pretty much eat the thing on its own, although I opted for a reduced balsamic glaze to accompany it - very easy to make.  After taking the meat out of your pan, take the pan off the heat and pour in around 1-2 tablespoons of good aged balsamic vinegar, depending on how much you'd like.  The residual heat of the pan will cause it to bubble up and reduce.  As it's cooking, scrape up the caramelised bits at the bottom of the pan to mix up the goodness of the venison flavours with the balsamic, and stir it all around.  For an added touch, your can even pour in the juices that have pooled around the steak on the plate.  When it looks reasonably reduced, pour the stuff over your steak, and if you're feeling artistic, you can even drizzle it in a pattern on the plate!  Just don't over-reduce it in the pan, because it will keep thickening for a little while after you pour it out.

A normal table knife cuts through a perfectly cooked steak with ease, and the still juicy morsel just melts in your mouth.  If you need to eat your meat well done, just don't bother.

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