Number 1: Venison

20 Sep

I had an incredibly hard time trying to find venison in the U.S.  I’m sure it would have been easy to find in a fancy restaurant, but I couldn’t find it in butcher shops, grocery stores…anywhere.  In the UK, it was the exact opposite.  Venison was practically everywhere I looked!  Even the St. Andrews fishmonger had it! (how that does that make any sense?)  The problem, though, was that I was staying at a bed and breakfast, so I didn’t have a place to cook the venison!  Maddening.

Luckily, on my third day in St. Andrews, Dan, Vicki, Pete, and I were walking down the street when we saw this sign staring at us:

We decided to have a little wander around the market and were suddenly face-to-face with this stall:

Not only was this venison featured on, like, a billion different TV shows, but they had ready-to-eat venison pies for about $2.50 each!  Um, talk about perfect!  By the way, Auchtermuchty has always been my absolute favorite name for a Scottish town.  I mean, how much more Scottish can you get?  I took my pie back to the B&B, snapped a few photos, and dug in.

The first thing I thought was that it would have been infinitely better warm.  The venison inside the pastry was crumbly and flavorful, but cold.  It tasted almost like hamburger meat, but a bit more peppery.  The pastry was flaky and soft, but it still would have been better warm.

I don’t know if this was the best choice for tasting venison.  I think a warm, juicy steak would have been ideal and would have given me the true flavor of venison, but I had to take what I was given!  Even though this choice wasn’t the greatest, I’m a big meat lover at heart, so I still enjoyed every bite of it.


4 Responses to “Number 1: Venison”

  1. IntenseGuy September 20, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    It does look “Seriously Good”!

    🙂 So.. you ate Bambi…

  2. Big Onion September 20, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Venison is really common around here, but we have lots of wooded areas outside of NOLA and lots of hunters. We actually feed one of our dogs on an all-venison diet (we raw feed all our pets and make their own food). Hunting season doesn’t last very long, so we have to stock up on venison to make sure we make it through the year. It’s almost funny that you can’t find any where you are, and we have a chest freezer full of scraps and cut up carcasses (not fit for human consumption, obviously).

    If you can find yourself a venison roast, research some recipes carefully. They’re easy to incorrectly cook and can taste like dry, gamey meat. It’s super lean, so unless you’re taking a small piece and just searing it you need to cook it with a good amount of fat. Some soak it in milk, some wrap it in bacon.

    It’s probably easier to find than you think, it’s just not something you ever had to look for before. I’ve found it commercially for sale at some Asian markets, but your best bet is to befriend a hunter. Since they kill and clean it themselves it’s not easy for them to resell it unless it’s under the table.

    Hopefully you can find a chunk to get a good idea of the flavor, but I’m glad you got a taste of some!

    Looking forward to the rest of your European travels!

  3. Laura in Cancun September 20, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    My brother in law hunts deer, so we got venison burger sliders at Christmas last year… it was amazing! Definitely similar to beef

  4. Miss Angie September 20, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    I grew up in a family of hunters, so I grew up eating it but haven’t had it in years. I’m not necessarily the biggest fan, or wasn’t back then. It was a bit too gamey.

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