Oh venison, how do I love thee? Nom, nom, nom ...
I have had the pleasure for many years to know deer hunters who are very generous. I am always excited to get some of Rick's venison sausages or some of the roasts and steaks I have received. And very recently I have been given a variety of cuts, including some ground venison (thanks Peter!).
I really want to try a chili some time but when I only have a limited amount of ground venison, my first choice is always a bolognese ragu. This particular recipe, which I have prepared many times, is based on a youtube video by Mario Batali. He uses beef, veal and pork and I have substituted venison for the beef and veal in this version.
If you want to do this properly, do not rush! This should take about 4 hours.
1 large onion
3 celery stalks
2 medium carrots
3 cloves garlic
Herbs: thyme, rosemary, parsley
1 lb ground venison
3/4 lb ground pork
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup white wine
Pasta to serve (pappardelle is awesome)
bouquet garni with the herbs - I often wrap the herbs in a coffee filter to avoid pieces falling out into the dish, but you can just as easily wrap them with butcher's twine (food grade twine).
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot and add veggies and the bouquet garni. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Keep this on a low-medium heat for about 30 minutes. If it gets hot, add some liquid - stock, beer, wine ... a little of whatever is on hand.
After a half hour, add the meat and a bit more salt and some pepper. This is going to take a while. Let it cook low and slow for about 45 minutes or so to render the fat. Before moving to the next step, the meat should be crackling ...
You do not need a lot of sauce with the pasta, just enough to coat the pasta is sufficient. Put some of the sauce in a pan, toss with the cooked pasta and some parmesan then serve hot.