Marx Foods is hosting a new foodie recipe competition and they have invited me to create a fall inspired recipe complimenting one chosen ingredient: venison! Now, it’s honesty time, I’ve had venison maybe once? I remember nothing about it and certainly didn’t prepare it so when I received an invite to the Marx Foods and Silver Fern Farms Cervena Venison Recipe Challenge, I started the googling process with a vengeance.
Soon a 10 pound package arrived on my doorstep. Was it a bomb? Anthrax?
Debates were had over various sauces, flavor profiles and overall dish presentations, but at the end of the day it was about optimizing the venison’s moment to shine. Tacos are about the meat, a pinch of fresh onion, slaw or cilantro add freshness and crunch while salsa finishes with heat, but the protein is the star.
You may be asking: how do I vote for you, foodie?! This recipe is making my mouth water!
So glad you asked!
Thank you Marx Foods for inviting me to participate in this challenging event! I shared venison street tacos with a group of apprehensive friends and they were officially impressed that it wasn’t gamey. Cervena Venison was tender, extremely lean and satisfyingly rich!
Taco night is the real deal in my house! I take a big wood cutting board and present all the fixin’s for customized assembly.
Foodie note: Opal apples have a short season, but if you can get your hands on them, buy a ton! They are crisp, tangy and sweet and won’t brown. If you can’t find Opal, substitute Granny Smith, Aurora or Pink Lady. You want something that’s slightly tart and super crunchy.
1 lb Cervena Venison Leg Medallions
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 corn tortillas
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet or spicy)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 ½ cups shredded purple cabbage
1 shallot, sliced paper thin
1 Opal apple, cut shoe string style on a mandolin
2 tablespoons fresh jalapeño, shredded on mandolin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
hot sauce of your choice (Cholula is my personal fav)
Tomatillo salsa, try this version from Rick Bayless
- Mix dry rub ingredients in a small bowl.
- Remove venison from cryovac packaging and pat meat try with paper towel; spread a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter, lay 4 medallion pieces on plastic and sprinkle both sides with dry rub. Stack meat into 2 piles on the plastic and wrap tight. Place package on a plate and marinate over night.
- Remove meat from refrigerator, unwrap it and place meat on a clean plate, letting it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add all slaw ingredients, toss and set aside.
- Heat a large cast iron pan (extra point for a grill pan!) over medium high heat. Rub meat with olive oil and place into hot pan. Sprinkle with salt, cook 2 minutes flip and cook another 2-3 minutes for medium rare. Place onto a clean plate, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat a small pan on low with a few tortillas.
- Customize your tacos: layer meat, slaw, salsa, hot sauce and lime. Eat!