Considered a true culinary star of the autumn, deer pastrami is a delicious, but not for everybody
And that’s not because of the difficulty of preparing, but rather of the rarity of this meat. But for an experienced hunter, that should not be an impediment. For those who have been traveling to Africa this recipe is similar to biltong but in a “European” style. For the best results we have to use the back leg of the deer.
Deer pastrami – Method I – dry method.
The boneless meat is cut, peeled and seasoned with a mixture made of salt, pepper, hot pepper, sweet pepper and thyme. This mixture is sprinkled in a uniform layer over the whole surface of the meat. The salt is the main ingredient, so don’t be shy to use plenty of it. After that you make a juice from 5,6 crushed cloves of garlic, mixed with one glass of good white wine and sprinkle the meat. Add some fresh or dry thyme and basil branches and rub the meat. After that roll the spiced meat very tide in put it in a clean and big pot and store it in the refrigerator for one or two day. Under any circumstances do not store it in the freezer because you will ruin the whole process of maturation.
After the 2 days, you take the meat and leave it in a cool windy place, outside if the weather is cold and dry or in a room without flies and dust, where you have to leave it for another two days and after that you can smoke it with cold smoke, from hard essence wood. The smoking process is not mandatory, but this stage will give a special flavour to the meat that is hard to describe in few words.
Now the pastrami, smoked or not can be store in the freezer for up to 9 months and can be prepare at the barbeque. You can also serve the pastrami as a starter. In this case you have to put it in the oven with olive oil, white wine and juice from a lemon or a lime and a glass of water or beef stock for about 30 minutes at the temperature of 220°C. Leave it cool down and slice the rolls in very tiny slices. You will impress your guests for sure.
Deer pastrami – Method II – wet method
After cutting and boning the deer meat, we start to prepare the marinade liquid. For 2 back legs of the deer I use 2, 3 liters of dry white wine, crushed 40-50 cloves of garlic, salt,one cut onion, few bay leaves, pepper, sweet paprika, hot paprika, thyme and a little bit of water. As in the first method use plenty of salt. Big grounded salt. You put the meat in this marinade and leave it for 3 days. Turn each side 2, 3 times per day. Meat have to stay under the marined liquid all time. After 3 days you take the meat out and leave it dry in a cold place for one day. Smoke the meat as in the first method for a better flavour. Keep it in cold places up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.