Venison for dinner ‘not bad’ – that’s progress in my house

This buck Albert killed during the 2016 firearms season has served his family well. (Photo by Joe Albert)

My wife asked the other day if we could have steaks for dinner. It was Sunday, after all, and we like to have a nice dinner on Sunday nights before the craziness of the week gets under way.

I told her steak sounded great. She said we had potatoes and what we needed to make a salad. The implication was I should go to the store and get some meat. But before Kim could verbalize the request, something grabbed her attention. I took the opportunity to head down the stairs two at a time and head into the laundry room, where we have an extra freezer that’s still stocked with a fair amount of venison from last year.

I grabbed three steaks and brought them upstairs. Whatever had captured Kim’s attention still held it, so I put the steaks into a gallon-size plastic bag and submerged the works in hot water to thaw them. Then I put on my jacket and hat and busied myself with the extra work that results from building the kids a backyard skating rink. By the time I returned from outside, I’d kind of forgotten about the venison in the sink.

But she had discovered it. And her first question was whether we were having “that kind of steak.”

Rather tentatively, I said yes, knowing she’s never been a fan. Still, each time I make it I hold out hope she’ll like it. The problem is that she likes her meat incredibly well done. So it becomes this vicious circle of her not liking it because it tastes too gamey, and me explaining that’s because it’s overdone. In that moment, I resolved to cook the steak to a point just beyond where I enjoy it.

When we were ready to eat, I cut it into slices and plopped several of them on my wife’s plate. I put roughly the same amount on my daughter’s plate and on my son’s plate. My daughter loves venison so I wasn’t surprised when she ate it. My son likes it a little less than her but will eat it to appease me. So I really was interested in seeing how my wife would approach it. I figured it either would sit there, or she’d declare herself satisfied with salad and potatoes. First she picked up some potatoes with her fork, then stabbed a slice of venison, which she then dipped in steak sauce. I couldn’t look away.

“It’s not bad,” she said.

And I believe her because she ate another couple of slices.

That, my friends, is what you call progress.

Categories: Bloggers on Cooking, Bloggers on Hunting, Joe Albert, Whitetail Deer

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