As you’ve probably noticed on BF, it’s not always about sitting down and enjoying a meal. Sometimes you gotta work for your dinner. That’s when you look to the folks at Broken Arrow Ranch– an artisanal producer free-range venison, antelope, and wild boar meat. The family-owned business out of Texas Hill Country is serious about their meat, field harvesting only truly wild animals. I was thrilled to hit the field with these guys, hoping to track a deer.
After a full day of hunting, I ended up getting the beautiful sika deer (pictured above)– an Asian species that they’re raising on the ranch.
Within minutes of shooting the animal, the deer was hit with electrical stimulation. This causes a contraction of muscles which ensures a thorough bleed out, guaranteeing a mild-tasting meat and longer shelf life sans funky preservatives. It also tenderizes the meat (typically 40 percent to 60 percent more tender than non-stimulated meat).
The carcass is then hauled to a mobile processor, which is right out in the field with us. Broken Arrow has one of their meat cutters (guy in blue hat), as well as a USDA inspector (guy in white hat) onsite. The animal is expertly broken down, then the cuts are placed into a mobile cooler.
I’ve hunted my entire life and have never seen anyone do this– ever. The process isn’t an easy one, but it’s worth it. This is hands down some of the best meat I’ve ever tried. So incredibly fresh and tender. It’s quality is unparalleled.
Chef Rene Ortiz of La Condesa whipped up this fantastic deer heart escabeche. That’s some fresh pluck.
Chef Ortiz also did these amazing tortilla cooked with bacon fat, stuffed with seared deer loin, cumin yogurt, and habanero harissa.
I got in on the culinary action, putting these jalapeños stuffed with deer liver, heart and kidney wrapped in cherry smoked bacon onto the grill for some slow roasting chile goodness.
On Bizarre Foods America, this is where my deer story will end. But wait! There’s more for you blog readers. The deer I shot was purchased by Chef Robert Wiedmaier of Brabo in Old Town Alexandria (outside of DC), and is currently available on their menu.
Chef de Cuisine, Chris Watson said they’re running these two dishes (created by Chef de Cuisine, Chris Watson) made from my sika as a weekend special. He expects them to sell out quickly, so you gotta get there today or tomorrow. How good do these look?!:
Pan seared venison loin with tagliatelle pasta, venison ragout, Brussels sprouts and venison sausage, natural jus.
Pappardelle with venison ragout chanterelle mushrooms and mustard greens.
If you’re in the DC area, try to get to Brabo this weekend. Trust me, these dishes are going to be insanely good.