Grilled Venison with Pomegranate Reduction
I started this blog because I love taking pictures, making food and eating. However, I also pride myself on being honest. That being said, I have a confession to make: the thing that pushed me to finally start this blog was because I knew I might get free stuff out of it.
Do you think less of me? I hope not. After all, I had a very good reason.
It’s all because I was reading someone else’s food blog and they had been sent See’s Candies for free. See’s Candies, people. They had been sent a huge box of some of the best chocolate candy made in the U.S. and it was free. Are you thinking about starting a blog now too? I don’t blame you and neither will anyone else.
I started blogging with visions of See’s Candies being sent for free to my door step, basking in the knowledge that life would get even better if I started writing about food and taking pictures of food for all the world to see. But then I started thinking about it, and did I want to write about something that was free for me, but that I’d be encouraging other people to buy? That didn’t really seem fair to me. Wasn’t that kind of against my “boo capitalism” attitude? I confided in Nate and I believe the words “liberal hippy” were thrown around.
Then things changed. I was contacted by POM Wonderful and they asked if I’d be interested in trying their pomegranate juice. I’ve always wanted to try POM Wonderful, plus it apparently has tons of positive health benefits, but I never got around to it. And then this email landed in my inbox and I found myself responding with “I would love to try your product!”
About a week later, a case of POM Wonderful landed on my door step. Nate got to it before I did and put it in the fridge for me. I was so excited when I got home that I yanked the case out of the fridge, breaking the middle shelf on the fridge door and sending all our condiments flying across the kitchen. Nate just stood there, shaking his head in wonder and dismay.
The next logical step was to find something to do with the juice. Back in July Nate and I took a trip to Wisconsin and my dad generously gave us enough frozen venison to last (at this rate) about a year. We have slowly, but surely, been using the ground venison, but the packages of venison steaks have been sitting in the freezer. I’ve been saving them for a “special occasion,” and if celebrating getting free stuff for the first time isn’t a special occassion, I don’t know what is.
I have been eating game meat for most of my life. In college my freezer was stocked with venison and elk, and my room mates and I would make elk burgers. I still remember my parents’ wild rice, mushroom and pheasant casserole. And I’ll never forget the time I was eating duck at the young age of maybe 10 and chomped down on a piece of birdshot.
If you’re gonna eat a steak, you have to have mushrooms. Enough said.
This here’s the pomegranate reduction that I made by first sauteeing half a shallot with some garlic, and then I added in about 6 oz of pomegranate juice. I let it reduce and then I whisked in about a tablespoon of butter because… well, there is no good reason. I was on a butter-kick that day, and butter makes everything taste better.
We also grilled some squash, which turned out to be GROSS. It had an alarmingly strong smokey aroma and then when you took a bite, it tasted like it had been smoked instead of grilled. I took one bite, choked it down, and pushed the rest off my plate.
Charcoal, why do you do me wrong?
The pomegranate reduction was sweet and tangy, and it went perfectly with the venison and mushrooms. In fact, I had to go back to put more on my plate.
Nate watched me arrange the food on the plate before taking a picture and he told me I’ve been watching too much Top Chef. It’s true. But that show is awesome. Awesome, I tell you. And I really hope Jen wins.
The flavors of the venison and the pomegranate reduction melded really nicely. Aside from the icky squash, I’d say this meal was definitely special-occasion-worthy!