A friend gave us venison back strap — a generous gift, as you already know if you’re a hunter. I settled on a vinegar-soy-sesame oil marinade, then a wrap of bacon and a drizzle of blueberry pomegranate syrup and a turn under the flames.
- Big Fella saw me deeply involved with the vegetable side dishes and asked what he could do. He doesn’t cook, per se, except for the odd skillet-browned bratwurst and soysage scramble, because he doesn’t have to.
Also, he’s a perfectionist who finds the most difficult possible way to do everything. It always turns out a superior result, but it’s maddeningly slow. Example: when it’s his turn to top the pizza, he chops each topping into microscopically small bits, thenspreads them with precision over the pizza. It takes ages.
- But honestly, dinner needed attention. “You could wrap the venison pieces in bacon,” I offered. “But here’s the thing: the bacon will melt, and the fat will spread over the meat naturally, so don’t spend a lot of time trying to cover every millimeter of the meat with bacon.” Because wthout directions, he’d spend 30 minutes and use a whole pound of the
- we bought.
When I cook Chinese, I use a mise en place system because you’d be crazy not to, and end up with cruddy results.
For other cuisines, my aprons and dishtowels tell the story. I stop often to wipe my hands clean so I can prep the next step, because I didn’t set it out before I started.
- When I checked in on Big Fella’s progress, I just had to shoot a photo. This perfect mise was the handiwork of my husband, whose car is a rolling trash can and whose office has corners piled so high with crap that we’ll have to hire a professional. I can’t explain it, so I had to document it.