Venison Red Curry -- Make Something Different and Tasty with the Deer Roasts in Your Freezer
A couple Thai restaurants not far from home offer delicious curry dishes, prompting us to wonder how venison might taste in a curry concoction. This recipe incorporates what we liked best from the restaurants’ very different taste experiences as well as research into how locals in places like New Zealand and the United Kingdom make their venison curry.
Coconut milk, a staple in a Thai curry, can be adjusted to affect the dish’s sweetness. Balance sweet with heat by adjusting the coconut milk, curry paste and cayenne pepper/red pepper flakes to your taste. Red curry typically isn’t as spicy as green curry.
Coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste are available in the oriental food section of most supermarkets. Coconut milk prices can vary substantially between brands. Make sure you stir the milk after opening the can.
We used the top round and eye of the round, but shoulder stew meat also works. Whatever meat you use should be well trimmed of sinew and fat. You’re basically browning and then braising the meat. The braising makes it near fork tender and helps assimilate the curry flavors. While we used an oven, this can be adapted for a crockpot. It’s easy to make ahead in large batches.
1 pound venison, cut into ¾ to 1-inch cubes
1½ tablespoons olive oil
½ tablespoon sliced or slivered ginger (we sometimes use a vegetable peeler)
½ teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons red curry paste
10 ounces coconut milk (for sweeter dish, use the whole 14-ounce can)
¼ cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 squirt lime juice
¼ teaspoon each cumin, cayenne pepper and coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ small onion
½ red and/or yellow bell pepper
1 cup snow peas (sugar snap peas)
1 cup Jasmine Rice (cook according to directions on bag)
Salt and pepper to taste
Other ingredients (harder to find)
4 Kaffir lime leaves
4 Thai basil leaves
A sprinkling of chopped lemongrass
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in oven proof pan over medium heat. Add the curry powder and half the slivered ginger. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the meat, browning on all sides. Stir in curry paste and cook for a minute. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Stir in cumin, cayenne pepper, and coriander (and the lime and basil leaves and lemongrass). Bring to a slight boil. Remove from heat, cover and place in 180-200 degree oven for 1 ½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
While the meat is cooking, slice onions, peppers, and carrots into ¼-inch thick strips about 3 inches long. Sauté in remaining olive oil over medium-low heat with the rest of the ginger until soft. Add the vegetable sticks and snap peas to the meat mixture 30 minutes prior to removing from oven, until the meat is tender. Correct seasonings to taste. Fish sauce is salty, so don’t be surprised if you don’t need to add salt.
Serve over rice. Serves 4.
Sides and Dessert
Try a Thai-styled salad with mango, papaya and red onion julienne slices topped with a dressing of equal parts of white vinegar and sugar, a dash of lemon or lime juice and a very light sprinkling of cayenne pepper. For dessert, slice a couple bananas lengthwise, and pan fry in a tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Drizzle with honey and serve with a good vanilla ice cream.
Suggested wine pairings include Gewurztraminer or Riesling or a light red such as a pinot noir or a Spanish Rioja. Avoid wines with a lot of oak and tannins.