Venison Tasting Reportback

Winter is venison season in South Africa and in Johannesburg it is probably our quintesential local food. Before gold was discovered in 1876, before farmers started building houses and dividing up the land in the 1830s, before traders and explorers wandered through the area, there were herds of wild antelope and flocks of wild birds such as guinea fowl and fracolin.

This is why we at Slow Food Johannesburg have a venison event (or two) every winter.

This year we had a double header as there was a huge demand from our members and other foodies in the city. FP, one of our members and his hunting friends kindly donated the venison. Another member, Caroline McCann of Braeside Meat Market in Parkhurst, hung and portioned the meat, and Chef Clinton Verhoog cooked the meat (on the 2nd evening at least).

The idea of the evenings was to discuss ethical hunting and then taste cuts of three antelope to determine the difference betwen them and vote on which ones the 40 attendeesat each event prefered.

The hunters talked about ethical hunting. Ethical hunting ensures that the animal is quickly despatched with the minimum of stress, the meat is then dressed and transported to Braeside Meat Market where it is hung in a cold room and divided into properly portioned cuts.

It is important to note that the meat was free of antibiotics, growth hormones, free of transport stress and abattoir butchery. Also that the game concerned was indigenous, harvested in its natural environment, drought resistant, low fat and high in good natural omega’s.

Fabio Loreggian. Also with thanks Chef Clinton Vehoog and to Miele Kitchen)

 

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