Wild Table with Savage Arms: Venison Keema Aloo

This ground-venison dish comes to us from Pakistan, by way of the chefs at Savage Arms!

by
posted on August 28, 2023

If you're like most deer hunters, your favorite part of the harvest is the backstraps. But what about all that other perfectly good protein on the rest of the animal? Many people choose to grind up the less-desirable cuts and use it to make burgers (and if you want to make the perfect one, here's how.) But there's so much more that you can do with ground venison that it would be a shame to use it all that way. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try this delicious recipe from Savage Arms' Fisher Neal? It comes to us from Pakistan, and the unique combination of spices gives venison a whole new taste. If you're not into "hot" food, worry not; the recipe works just fine with fewer chilies. For this recipe, Neal includes wild-foraged day lily tubers and spicebush berries, but they're not necessary if you don't have access to those ingredients. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs Ground Venison
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 4-8 whole spicebush berries (optional)
  • 2 inch piece whole cinnamon
  • 4-8 whole cloves
  • 6-12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp numeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 6 diced tomatoes
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 cup day lily tubers (optional)
  • 3-4 Chillies halved (modify up or down for heat preference)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 lemon (squeezed)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or skillet med
  2. Once oil is hot, add while spices and cook for 30-60 seconds until cumin seeds brown
  3. Add diced onion and cook until they begin to brown
  4. Add ginger and garlic and cook for one minute
  5. Turn up heat, add venison, cook until brown
  6. Add all remaining spices except for Garam Masala, stir well
  7. Add tomatoes and potatoes, and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water, cover, and bring to boil
  8. Turn heat down and simmer for five minutes, then add daylily tubers 
  9. Once potatoes are nearly done, remove lid and cook down to remove water to taste
  10. Once the gravy is reduced to your liking, add the garam masala, lemon juice, half the cilantro, and half the chillies and mix
  11. Garnish with remaining chillies and serve with your choice of rice, paratha, naan, or roti.

Fisher's Tips:

  • You add a lot of water to get the potatoes cooked, and I like this dish best when the gravy is reduced pretty far, to the point that it doesn’t taste watery at all. 
  • Ginger and Garlic Paste can be used in place of the fresh stuff, but you can’t beat fresh ginger and garlic.
  • The traditional Pakistani method of eating this dish is to tear off a piece of your chosen flatbread and use it to pick up a wad of goodness, sans fork.

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