juniper and thyme-rubbed and smoked venison ribs with brown rice and beans and herbed butter roasted beets, originally uploaded by aarn! +26th October, 2009+.
went on a little trip to do some research for a project with vadim (future proprietor of akimenko meats). ended up out in new braintree, ma at misty river view farms, the largest venison farm in massachusetts. david and rhonda were nice enough to give vadim a nice looking rack of venison ribs to mess around with.
mashed together a few cloves of garlic with six juniper berries (christina's spices), black peppercorns, a few sprigs worth of fresh thyme, a generous amount of salt, a heavy pinch of sugar (about 2:1, salt:sugar), and a splash of canola oil in a mortar and pestle, until a well-mixed paste. removed the membrane from the bottom of the venison ribs, then rubbed them with the paste, focusing on the fleshier parts. put down a layer of lightly ashed-over charcoal in the fire box of the smoker, topped with a layer of aromatic african mahogany chunks (which had been soaking all day, thanks to the turk for scraps from his
shop). placed the ribs in the smoking chamber and adjusted the airflow to maintain a 200-degree chamber temperature. smoked the ribs for about 3hrs, then finished in aluminum foil in the oven for an hour or so.
browned a handful of diced pieces of home-cured pork belly with julienned chicken skin (in an open pressure cooker), until the skin was tender and the fat had been adequately rendered. added a 1T. of unsalted butter, a diced onion, a few cloves of crushed garlic, a couple of sprigs of thyme, dry mustard powder, a pinch of cayenne, some tony chachere's seasoning, a pinch of marjoram, and cumin powder. simmered until the onions were tender, then added 2c. of organic short grain brown rice and lightly toasted over medium heat until slightly darker in color and most of the oil had been absorbed from the pan. added 4c. of boiling water, stirred lightly, then covered the pressure-cooker on low heat until the rice was almost done (40-min or so). added a layer of re-hydrated black beans on top of the rice, and covered again, to steam the beans and come up to temperature (did not stir in, rice continued to cook for a few minutes longer). stirred in the beans once the rice was done, removed from heat and left covered until ready to eat.
crushed two cloves of garlic with some thyme, smoked paprika, caraway seed, salt and pepper, in the mortar and pestle. added 2T. of softened butter and mashed until a nice loose compound butter. coated a handful of rinsed and trimmed beets (parker farms) in the butter mixture, then roasted at 425-degrees in a covered pan until fork-soft, peeled, quartered, and tossed in julienned fresh mint and orange zest, to taste.
[lots of stuff/fantasic plating: vadim]