He can’t stop being amazed at how indifferently many locals treat this delicacy:
“We are getting used to the fact that there is always northern fish, venison, berries – in fact, unique and very expensive in other regions. But the main thing is the usefulness of these products”.
One of the most serious advantages of reindeer meat is that remote pastures, harsh climatic conditions, clean natural food, lack of contact with domestic animals make reindeer meat safe and environmentally friendly. In winter, the main food is lichen, branches, buds of trees and shrubs; in summer – leaves and shoots of plants, berries, mushrooms. Reindeer are not susceptible to diseases that have been on the world beef and poultry markets in the last decade.
“Reindeer meat is prized for its softer structure, juiciness and naturalness. Venison is distinguished by its high content of complete proteins. It contains micro and macro elements such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum, cobalt, nickel, lead, vitamins A, B and C”, says Ruslan Asanov. “Venison effectively prevents the harmful effects of exposure to heavy metals and toxic substances, as it contains a lot of selenium – 25 milligrams per 100 grams. Also, meat contains 2.7-7.6 percent more protein than the best beef varieties. The fat content is quite low, so the meat has a high consumer value. The energy value of venison is lower than other types of meat, which confirms its dietary properties”.
Venison, due to its exceptional nutritional characteristics, belongs to a lean, healthy food, and the softness, fine fiber and incredible taste of meat make this product exotic, unique and recognized worldwide as a delicacy.
“Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to cook venison. Firstly, the meat is fragrant, and secondly, it is troublesome. Although I would be lying if I say that I have not met real gourmets of northern cuisine who know that the most delicious shurpa is from a deer shank. It is filed, peeled and boiled over very low heat so that the meat does not come off the bone”, says Ruslan Asanov. “A mini steak on the bone remains. Then the broth is filtered. But such gourmets are rare. More often people tend to have quick meals, but meanwhile, I’m sure it is worth spending a little energy on a homemade dinner and having a good time with your family. This, by the way, will be cheaper for you. An example of a light and tasty dish is venison steak”.
This is not a usual cutlet, when the meat needs to be thawed, cranked with onions and spices… The steak can be minced meat. To do this, we do not defrost the deer fillet completely, so that it is more convenient to cut it. Cut the meat into cubes, add onions, an egg, shape, roll in flour and fry but not long, and then send the cutlets to the oven for five minutes.
“The deer doesn’t like to be dried out. Sometimes I can even refuse if a guest orders a well done roast (full). Deer retains its taste if it’s at least medium roasted”, says the chef.
Then we start preparing the side dish. Lightly salted cucumbers are perfect here. Cut the cucumber lengthwise into several pieces, add salt, garlic, some vegetable oil and pepper. Wrap in a bag and shake. Then put the bag in the refrigerator. They will infuse while you finish the meal.
Meanwhile, we prepare lingonberry sauce for the venison. This is the most frequent accompaniment of venison. The meat is lean and the hot lingonberry sauce will do just fine.
“There are several types of lingonberry sauce that go well with venison. Including hot and cold. We’ll cook hot. To do this, mix lingonberries with sugar, salt, ginger in a blender. Then boil the resulting mixture with red sweet wine and filter it”, Ruslan shares his secrets.
Smoked sour cream will give a special taste to the dish. It is not difficult to prepare: make a “hut” from fragrant grass, lightly burn it, put a cup with sour cream in the middle, and close the structure tightly with foil in the form of a chum. Let it brew for 3-4 hours. The smoke will rise up, hit the foil and all the ethers will fall on the sour cream. When you open the foil, the sour cream will be brown.
“If it’s too difficult, you can serve regular sour cream, but mix it with rosemary or thyme”, notes Ruslan Asanov.
It’s time to assemble the whole dish. We put the cutlet, pour it with lingonberry sauce, next to it – cucumbers, sour cream.
“Don’t think that the side dish is just potatoes. Cucumber is also a great side dish. In this dish you get all the ingredients for a healthy and tasty lunch”, concludes the chef.
Other recipes using Taimyr products find in the Taste of the North section.
Text: Maria Sokolova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko