Sunday, January 24, 2010

getting to the heart of the matter

{heart meat I found on line}

So it turns out that the slab of Reindeer meat I received, via some old fashioned cold war style smuggling and with added internets googling, may not have been what I thought it was; I am grateful that I eat first, search later.

Picture this, I'm at home, Sunday night, enjoy a glass of Argentinian Cab-Merlot (no laughing, dump that Chilean shite and get on the Argentine band wagon NOW, quality has been way higher for the last ten years. This will impress your mates in next time in the "offie" or indeed and member of the opposite sex {or same sex or whatever}, it took a while, but gobshites in chile figured out after 60 years that the Merlot they where selling to all the petrol stations in Europe was actually Carmémére (a dry, tobacco tasting grape) and that the Argentinians had all the good stuff, what is known as old vine ( really, just old vines) Merlot from France. You can try Tilia cab sauv-merlot- from Dunnes Stores, a steal @ €6.49

What was I talking about? Oh yeah,Reindeer meat! So, picture the scene, Sunday night, I'm sitting at home watching the latest installment of Raw on RTE and they bring up Wicklow venison and I remember that I have that reindeer meat hanging around and as the wife is away
(Reindeer = Christmas, eating Reindeer = Heresy) so time for a bit of a nom...

Opening the packet came with a satisfying hiss a guarantee of quality. The meat itself had the texture, colour and malleability of a hard bar of toffee, though the smell, the smell of the smoked salted meat, left me a little confused. I'll go out on a limb and say sea salt and Ash wood used in the smoking, not oak, it had a sweeter smell than oak wood, like hazel nuts. I stand there bending it, flexing, smelling, wondering what is this going to taste like?

I take out a good carving knife and saw into the middle, saw being the word here. I was reminded of the old 10p Big Time Bars, a hard toffee, chocolate coated bar. The meat resisted the bite of the blade and after a bit of effort I could procure a slice from the middle.

It tasted, it tasted like iron, not iron girders but the watery kind. It did have a nice flaky meat texture, like venison, lean, not too chewy, but tasted of smoke and iron. Really it tasted like blood, it was like when you bite the inside of your cheek after taking a drag of a cigarette and then everything tastes, well, like blood and smoke. Dark blood. It was exciting... that iron tang, the unknown factor of where it came from ( some where in Sweden), it was, exciting.

I looked up smoked reindeer meat online and couldn't get a match for what I had eaten, until I saw this (third image down). My dealer had, I am now left to believe, supplied me with a chunk of salted / smoked reindeer heart. This goes a long way to explaining the taste of iron, and the dark blood red colour, now I think of it it may explain the shape and the texture.

Rudolph heart, Donner and Blitzen! to coin the German phase, heart meat! I was ready for shank, hock or ear, but heart, well heart takes some heart to eat.

I have eaten dried smoked meat before: beef and turkey jerky, and also Biltong, (smelled like feet) which what I expected this to taste like. But what I got was a tender, tasty meat, with a very definite tang, the best way to simulate the taste would be to smoke a Gauloises blonde, bite your cheek and eat some fudge...

Over all nice and lean, long after taste, tender and tasteful, tough and delicate, like Clive Owen/Julianne Moore, and as exciting taste wise, but not for the faint of HEART!

I will be passing this out among the brave hearted (!) over the next few days, if you want to try it give me a shout.

3 stars

1 comment:

  1. i would like to try some of this! please please bring some of it to the princess and the frog screening on wednesday :D

    i enjoyed your repition of the word 'exciting', it made everything a bit sexual and weird.