BBQ Muntjac Venison with Spicy Green Tomato Salsa
Muntjac is my favorite deer to stalk and cook. An invasive species, like the grey squirrel or signal crayfish, they were brought over from the Indian subcontinent by the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey. Little did he know the damage they would cause to our native flora 100 years later. Due to their tropical origins, they have yet to acclimate to a temperate climate with different seasons. As such, the Doe will breed all year round, first becoming fertile at only 7 months old. They are ready to conceive again a mere few days after giving birth, spreading throughout the countryside like wildfire
6 garlic cloves, still in the skin
1 tablespoon of capers
1 jar of green tomatillos ( I like ‘La Costena’ brand)
1 red onion
Sugar and salt to taste
Juice of 2 limes
Enough small spicy chilies to taste
Coriander to taste
In a sheet of silver foil put your garlic, tomatillos, red onion (peeled and quartered), and chilies together. Wrap loosely and place on the BBQ grill until everything is soft and browning. Remove, and place the chilies and garlic in a zip lock bag and leave them to steam, until you can safely and easily peel the skin off both. Transfer the peeled chili, garlic, and everything else to a processor and pulse into a rough paste. Add your coriander, sugar, and salt bit by bit in between pulses until you are happy with the taste.
When satisfied, transfer to a saucepan and with ½ a cup of chicken broth or water, add the lime juice, and reduce over low heat until you have a nice thick consistency.
Season your Muntjac haunch liberally with salt and pepper and grill till pink in the middle. Brush with butter while cooking to prevent it from drying out. Slice and serve with the salsa verde.
by James Chiavarini