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Quaker Creek Store Venison Pierogies (Serves Four)
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Bob Matuszewski's grandmother—the original source of this recipe—typically made these pierogies by shredding some roasted shoulder meat or by running cooked shoulder through a grinder, for a deeper texture. But ground venison works equally well, yielding a golden-hued venison pocket similar to fried ravioli.
2 cups flour
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ground venison, browned
1 finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 To make the filling: Sauté the onion in the butter until translucent, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix with the browned venison and let cool. 2 To make the dough: Mound the flour on a kneading board (or any nonstick counter surface) and form a hole in the center. Drop the eggs into the hole and cut them into the flour with a knife. Add the salt and water and knead the dough until it's firm. Cover with a warm towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into two halves and roll out the halves until thin. With a biscuit cutter or a glass, cut the dough into rounds. 3 Spoon a dollop of filling onto the middle of each round. Moisten the edges with water, fold the dough over, and seal the edges together firmly with the tines of a fork. (Be sure they're well sealed so they don't open while cooking.) 4 Drop the pierogies into boiling salted water and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon. 5 When ready to serve, melt a few pats of butter over medium heat. Sauté the pierogies on both sides until they're golden brown. If desired, serve with sautéed onions.
David Waltuck's Venison Burger au Poivre (Serves Four)
This recipe was adapted from Burgers by Rebecca Bent with Tom Steele (Clarkson Potter).
2 pounds venison ground with 4 ounces beef fat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons brandy
1/4 cup medium-dry Madeira or French dry white vermouth
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pink peppercorns
1 teaspoon coarsely ground Szechuan peppercorns (where available; substitute green peppercorns if necessary)
1 pint heavy cream
1 tablespoon veal glaze (veal stock reduced to a syrupy consistency, available at gourmet food shops), optional
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Gently form the ground venison into four thick 8-ounce patties. Lightly flour them and season with the salt. 2 Heat a sauté pan over a high flame, add the oil, then the burgers. Promptly turn the heat down to medium and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side for rare; do not cook beyond medium-rare or the meat will get dry. Remove the burgers from the pan and set aside on a warm plate. 3 While the burgers cook, make the sauce in a clean pan. Off heat, add the brandy and Madeira. Put the pan over medium heat, and reduce the liquid until almost dry, about 15 minutes. Add the peppers, cream, veal glaze (if using), and lemon juice. Reduce over high heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. 4 Put the burgers on plates (don't serve on a bun) and pour the hot pepper sauce over them. Serve with fries or mashed potatoes.