14 November 2009

It happens every fall....

Every fall, I get the urge to make savory comfort food. And yes, it does distract me, albeit momentarily, from my never-ending quest for the perfect homemade pizza. But this year this moment of seasonal zen is particularly fun because I found an awesome heavy aluminum dutch oven at an antique store in Benton. I think it's from the 60s. The pan. Not the store.

Isn't she lovely?And such a fine piece of kitchen toolery inspires me to make such amazing concoctions as this one. Venison stew. Yum. I didn't even know I could make venison stew.

I served this with some yeast rolls topped with butter, rosemary, and sea salt. Sea salt is my new seasoning of choice. I'm looking for reasons to use it. If you've never had a roll topped with rosemary, cheat and buy the frozen yeast rolls and just top with said accoutrements.

To. Die. For.

In any event, I think I should get environmental bonus points for removing a deer from the ecosystem. And then eating it. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Oh, and then there's this little gem of a dish. Pintos and cornbread. Or, as my dad used to call them, soup beans. The pintos contain a generous sampling of thick cut carrots and salt pork. Oh, you thought this was a vegetarian dish? Silly you.

And the cornbread must, quite naturally, be prepared in a cracklin' hot cast iron pan generously greased with bacon fat. I think my dependence on the pork industry has just erased my environmentalist brownie points earned with the wild deer meat.

But we can no worry about that now. Notice, if you will, that when I cook like this, the pot seems to always be filled to the brim. That's not why I'm stirring this with tongs. Actually, I don't know why I'm stirring this with tongs. But I made that much so I can portion up the leftovers and freeze them for a day when I'm not feeling so cookworthy. Yeah, right. Like any of this is going to make it to the freezer. Reason #8314 why I will never be skinny.
Dayum, those beans are good. I think I'm ready for another piece of cornbread.

Pass the butter.


  1. Mmmm, pork products. I don't think I've ever had cornbread cooked with bacon fat. If I had, I'd know, right?

    Did you hunt the deer?

  2. As Emeril says, "Pork fat rules." You absolutely must cook the bacon in a cast iron pan (I recommend feeding it to the dog when it's done), keep the pan hot, mix up your cornbread and when the cornbread hits the pan it makes a very satisfying sizzle.

    Now you could just fry the cornmeal and make johnny cakes, but I put the whole thing in a hot oven and let the delicious goodness begin.

    And no, I did not hunt the deer. My brother did. But it was wild and I did eat it. :)