VENISON TARTARE W/ CAST IRON SKILLET JOHNNY CAKES
I'll be the first to admit that tartare can be an intimidating dish for a lot of folks to try. Most people probably go with a very thinly sliced carpaccio dish for their first raw meat eating endeavors. But fear not! This tartare dish has a few comforting things going on with it.
Folded into the venison mixture are crispy fried shallots (buy these from an Asian market or Amazon.com), good ol' Johnny Cakes that are cooked in bacon fat and a runny yolk from a soft boiled egg. I've had a few friends who have never even eaten any raw beef dishes before try this and rank it in their top ten appetizers of all time.
*** It should be noted that you must use venison that had proper shot placement and field care to avoid any dangers of sickness. Meaning, if you gut shot your deer and/or weren't able to keep it clean before packaging, I'd save this dish for a future animal.
8 ounces - Venison Loin or Top Round
1 tablespoon - Minced Red Onion
1/4 cup - Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
2 tablespoons - fried shallots (store bought or from amazon.com)
1 tablespoon - Toasted Sesame Oil (plain will work fine)
1 teaspoon - dijon mustard
1 teaspoon - mayonnaise
1 tablespoon - minced chives
3/4 teaspoon - kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon - black pepper
4 - soft boiled eggs (recipe below)
Johnny Cake Ingredients
2 cups - Cornmeal
1/2 cup - All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon - Baking Soda
1 teaspoon - Baking Powder
1 teaspoon - Kosher Salt
1 - Egg
1 3/4 - Buttermilk
Bacon fat or Olive oil - Enough to Coat Pan for Cooking
FOR THE TARARE
With a sharp knife, chop the meat as fine as you can. Place in a bowl with all of the other tartare ingredients minus the eggs and mix well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to plate.
While the meat mixture in chilling, place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a simmer and cook for exactly 6 minutes. remove the eggs and place in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Very Carefully peel the eggs under running water. If you're nervous about breaking eggs, cook a few more than you need and eat them for breakfast if need be. Set the eggs aside.
FOR THE JOHNNY CAKES
Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk and egg together. Next, mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook the cakes in the fashion of pancakes. Place a quarter size dollop of batter into the pan and cook on both sides for about 2 minutes. They should be golden brown.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
Shape the venison tartare on the plate in any shape that you like.
Place the soft boiled egg beside and cut it open to let the yolk run out.
Top each johnny cake with a little meat, yolk, egg white and top with more fresh chives if you have them.
I personally like a drop of hot sauce and a squeeze of fresh lime on each bite. It really adds to the dish, but isn't necessary