Dark Days Week 1: Smoked Venison and Radish Chips
I have a secret to share. I hate winter. Okay, it’s not actually a secret since everyone who knows me knows that. It’s not the cold; I love crisp cold days and tromping through the snow. As long as there is plenty of sunshine. It’s the darkness of winter that gets me.
Every year I try to come up with some fun winter activity so I have things to look forward to. This year I found it while perusing food blogs (my new favorite pastime). I’m participating in the 5th Annual Dark Days Challenge.
In this challenge, people around the country will spend the winter making wonderful meals primarily from local foods (if not local, then organic and sustainable). Every week we’ll share what we made, our challenges and victories in finding local sources, and tips for others interested in living locally. Genius. What a great way to look forward to the dark days of winter.
The challenge starts now, so last night I made my first dish. I admit it’s not the most inspired thing ever. The day I signed up for the challenge I came down with a vicious cold and spent the next several days in bed. I’m on the mend, but still not 100%. So last night was all about easy and using ingredients I already had on hand.
The menu was smoked venison (marinated in organic red wine) and radish chips.
I’ve never made radish chips before, but boy are they tasty! That’s good to know as I’m always looking for potato substitutes. I’m also going to have a lot of radishes to work with this winter. Rick built a green house on our new garden plot and it’s working beautifully. The radishes are very happy in there. (The broccoli would like more light, so we’re not sure it will produce. But the turnips and lettuce are coming along nicely and should be ready soon.)
The venison is Northern Virginia’s finest. Rick is an urban bow hunter and does all of his hunting within 25 miles of our home. I believe the roast for this one came from within 5 miles. After five years of eating very locally harvested meat, it still astounds me that we can live in such a densely populated area and harvest enough local meat to feed us and a few other families.
Recipe: Smoked Venison Roast
- 1 to 2 pound venison roast
- 1 cup of organic red wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Marinate the venison roast in the red wine, salt and pepper for about 2 hours. Remove from the wine and dry with a paper towel.
- Here’s how you use the gas grill to smoke venison: you need a gas grill with two or more individually controlled burners and you need a temperature gauge mounted in the lid…preferably marked in degrees. If your grill doesn’t have one, pick one up at any store that sells grill parts; it’s important that you know what the temperature inside the grill is. Ideally, your grill will be able to maintain a constant temperature of 225°. (Ours doesn’t so we have to watch the meat carefully.)
- Turn on the left or back burner and heat the grill to 225°. Place hickory chips or other smoking wood in a bread pan and cover with water. Place the pan over the heated burner.
- The key to smoking is indirect heat, so once the grill starts smoking, put the meat on the burner that is off. Smoke until meat is cooked through. Sausages take about 1 hour, a 2-lb roast takes about 3 hours. Use your meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.
Copyright © Susan Rose.
Recipe: Radish Chips
- 10 radishes
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- Slice the radishes thinly and steam in the microwave for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 300°
- Toss the steamed radishes with spices, making sure the radishes are covered evenly.
- Spread on a baking dish and put in oven for about 10 minutes.
- Flip the radishes and bake for another 10 minutes…at this point, keep your eye on them. They may finish quicker, and they may burn.
- Remove from oven and serve warm.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Diet tags: Low calorie, Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 1
Copyright © Susan Rose.