Sunday, May 10, 2015

Slow Cooked Antelope Round Steak Tacos

Remember last week's Easy Antelope Chili? Well, this week's recipe comes directly from the website I mentioned last week, Nevada Foodies, and it is Slow Cooked Antelope, which Greg and I made into tacos. She is not kidding when she warns that round steak can be tough, so remember that if you decide to follow this recipe. Smaller sized pieces are the way to go here. Since the recipe is simple and linked above, I will talk about my impressions of the meat.

First off, wild game meat is always leaner than store-bought, farm-raised meat. I've never known a deer or antelope to be thick and juicy. I know a lot of people remedy this by cutting venison with beef when grinding it. But you can't do that with a steak. I am not much of a red meat eater, so the contrast was much more pronounced for me. Antelope does not taste like chicken. The taste, actually, is also quite distinct. 

Wild game in general has a very different taste from farm-raised. On a farm, the animal's diet is controlled and doesn't vary by much. This affects the taste of the meat, milk, cheese, and whatever other products are being created from this animal. (If you want to taste your leather jacket, that's up to you.) The activity level of the animal will also affect the meat. A cow chewing cud in a field is not moving around as much an antelope fleeing for its life from predators (hence leaner meat). 

I didn't notice much difference about the taste of the antelope in the chili (though I could tell it was leaner, which made me happy since I am used to turkey chili). The slow cooked meat was honestly a little hard for me to eat. (I let Greg take all the leftovers.) The only word I can think of to describe it is pungent. Adding sour cream seemed to mellow out the flavor some. (Actually, I think it was plain Greek yogurt, which is an excellent substitute for sour cream.) 

This didn't turn me off antelope, but it did make me look harder at how to prepare it. You know, should other loved ones suddenly find themselves with a plethora of frozen wild game in their freezer and in need of someone to pass it along to. (Michigan has plenty of deer, but we're thin in antelope.) 

I really like the idea of wild game. Hunting is nature's way of obtaining meat. Factory farms are really just evil torture factories that should be abolished. I am against hunting for sport because that is just a waste on every level. But I grew up in Michigan, and I have friends who rely on hunting and fishing to feed their families. Some also wild-harvest herbs, berries, and fruit from trees in public parks. (Beats stealing.)

Also, we have so many deer and we're continuously crowding them out of their natural habitats by building subdivisions willy-nilly. (I am also against subdivisions.) This forces deer into human populated areas, which makes them a threat to me by running into my car. Since humans have also pushed out most of the deer's other natural predators, that means we're now their best hope of thinning their numbers. Remember: overpopulation leads to higher competition for resources which leads to starvation. (This works for humans, too, by the way.) I don't plan on ever going hunting, but if a deer (or antelope) dies from a collision with my car, I do plan on making some calls and having that deer turned into dinner. 

Anyway. That was all the antelope. We also got venison, so look for that in the future. You can also check my wild game tag and find recipes for venison burgers and venison lasagna that I made a few years ago when a friend generously gifted me some ground venison.

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