Mule Deer Carpaccio

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If every animal in the world eats their meat without cooking it then why do people mostly believe cooking is a must? Don’t get me wrong, I love a smoked brisket or a perfectly cooked steak but there is nothing better than eating fresh meat raw just as nature intended. You definitely want to make sure that your animal wasn’t sick by checking the body, eyes and mouth. Also, that you did your best in keeping the animal clean while field dressing and cooling it quickly. When in doubt cook the meat. Let’s be honest, not taking the proper precautions can get you sick, we’re human after all.

Carpaccio is one of my favorite dishes of all time. It’s an Italian dish of beef tenderloin sliced paper thin with a deli slicer and served raw. I’ve never seen a recipe of carpaccio done with mule deer and seeing as how it’s my favorite meat, there is no way it could be bad. My adaptation to this recipe can be done in any home. If you can’t get it deli slicer thin with a knife don’t worry, you can pound it after and it comes out great.

I harvested this mule deer on a DIY, public land, archery hunt.

Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness

Ingredients:

1 (about 8oz) Deer Tenderloin, Cleaned

1 cup Arugula

Capers

Parmesan Cheese

Salt

Pepper

Sauce:

1 cup Arugula

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 oz olive oil

1 1/2 Tb Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp Parmesan

Pinch grated salt

Pinch pepper

1 Tbsp capers

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Preparation:

  1.  Trim off all the silver skin from the tenderloin. Pat dry with paper towels and place it in the freezer for an hour so its easier to cut.
  2. With a sharp knife cut the tenderloin in round slices as thin as possible. Place a piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and arrange the slices about 1/2”- 1” apart. Lay them out about the size of the plate you will be putting the carpaccio on.
  3. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the meat. Using a meat mallet (or the bottom of a small pan) gently pound the meat until it’s very thin and translucent.
  4. Gently take the top piece of plastic off. Lay your plate on the meat upside down. Carefully slide your hand under the plate and plastic and flip the whole thing over so the meat is laying nice and flat on the plate. Place it in the fridge while you make the sauce.
  5. Put 1 cup Arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Carefully remove the plastic from the top carpaccio and make sure the meat is covering the whole plate.
  7. Place 1 cup of arugula in the center of the plate. Drizzle about 2 table spoons of the sauce over the plate and reserved the rest for dipping. Sprinkle capers, Parmesan, salt and pepper over the pate to garnish.
  8. Finish it with a little bit of olive oil. Enjoy immediately with a baguette or crackers.

Ara Zada

Born and raised in Los Angeles Ara Zada is a chef, author, TV personality, food stylist and avid bow hunter. He has worked with Outdoor News, PBS, Food Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Jaime Oliver Food Foundation and a range of others. His first cookbook ‘Lavash’ was released Oct. 2019. When he’s not cooking he’s shooting his bow, teaching his kids about the outdoors, training for triathlons and filling any available time with parkour.

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