Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! This is a super tasty way to enhance your game meat, bringing an Asian flair to the table. The thin slices of meat ensure a tender dish, and the complex flavors are really enhanced by the beverage pairings. The recipe feeds four adults and is easily doubled for larger gatherings. The left-overs are every bit as good the next day. The recipe is really easy to make, and the results are fantastic.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds venison, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbl frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups frying oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
  • 1 pound steamed broccoli crowns

Preparation Method
I like to use the sirloin for this recipe. Using a roast or steaks, slice the venison across the grain into thin strips. Ideally they should end up about 3” long and 1” wide. The meat is easier to slice if it is slightly frozen. Place the sliced meat in a single layer on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Put the uncovered tray in your refrigerator to dry the meat for a minimum of 30 minutes.

In a small bowl blend the rice wine vinegar, sugar, orange juice concentrate, soy sauce, and salt. Stir well and set aside.

Put the rice, water, butter, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the water is absorbed, and the rice is tender. You can also use a rice cooker if you have one.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator. Toss the meat in the cornstarch, and coat well. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and bring up to frying temperature over medium-high heat. Fry the venison in small batches for 1-2 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown.  It cooks quickly so pay attention and do not overcook!

When all the meat is cooked, set aside and drain all the oil from the pan except for one tablespoon. Keeping the heat at medium-high, add the ginger, garlic, orange zest, and chili flakes to the pan. Cook for 30 seconds to one minute until fragrant. Add the rice wine mixture to the pan. Bring this to a boil and cook until thick and syrupy (two to five minutes). Add the venison back into the pan, and stir well to fully coat the meat and warm it through.

Serve the meat over the cooked rice and surround by the broccoli. You can add some condiments at this time to further hi-lite the flavor profile. I suggest some toasted sesame seeds and a splash of hot chili oil or sesame oil if you have it.

Recommended wine pairing is a dry or off-dry Riesling or a crisp Chenin Blanc. I would suggest a craft beer to accompany this meal in a strong IPA, or a hoppy Pilsner. You also can’t go wrong with one of the Chinese Pilsners.

Cheers!