Forest Cow

Recently, while preparing a fun riff on a Korean dish my family loves, I nearly choked to death on wine. I recovered quickly, but the culprit was my husband referring to venison as "forest cow" and my daughter deciding that was the most amazing thing ever. But you know, he's not wrong. Venison can often be substituted for beef in recipes and the learner texture can mean healthier meals. But that leaner texture can also mean challenges when it comes to traditional braising and stewing … unless you have a pressure cooker.

I have one of those fancy electric pressure cookers called the Instant Pot, but a traditional pressure cooker can be equally helpful in transforming sometimes tough venison into the most mouth-wateringly tender meat you'll find in a recipe. And in this particular recipe, it's paired with lightly steamed broccoli and a sauce that will haunt your dreams. A Korean inspired sauce blending sweet, salty, spicy, and rich flavors, you will be wanting to use it in other dishes as well, which I highly recommend.

If you like a little spicier mix, I highly recommend serving this dish with some traditional kimchi, a blend of salted and fermented vegetables that often found alongside any number of Korean dishes. Find it in the ethnic section of larger grocery stores or a specialty Asian grocer. Because there's so much going on in the sauce, I like to serve it over rice and have kimchi and sliced cucumbers alongside it. Then, iced tea or a chilled white wine makes it a meal. Enjoy your forest cow!

Korean Venison and Broccoli

  • 2 lbs. venison or beef stew meat, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 lb. steamed broccoli flowerets
  • 2 cups steamed rice
  • 2 T. sliced scallions

The night before cooking, combine the venison or beef cubes with the honey, brown sugar, soy sauce (or tamari), onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño in a shallow dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bring the sesame oil to medium heat using the sauté setting of your electric pressure cooker or over medium heat on your stovetop. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the marinade and brown well. Add the rest of the marinade to the pressure cooker and 1/2 c. water or beef broth. Close the lid of your pressure cooker and bring it to high pressure. Cook for 12 minutes and then rapidly release the pressure. Add the steamed broccoli (you can steam it and the rice while the meat cooks or make it in advance) to the pressure cooker and stir well to combine.

Serve the venison mixture over the steamed rice and sprinkled with sliced scallions.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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