Everything in this recipe is simple, although, as I mention above, you can add a few West African ingredients to make this a bit more exotic, if you want. Unrefined palm oil can be had in major supermarkets or health food stores, as can tamarind; tamarind is very common in Latin or Indian markets, too. Remember to only do this recipe with smallish deer shoulders, ones that can fit into a pot or roasting pan.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: West African
Keyword: tamarind, venison
Author: Hank Shaw
FOR THE POT
1large onion, sliced thinly root to tip
1 headgarlic, cloves peeled but whole
1 1/2cupsbroth or stock, any kind
FOR THE DEER SHOULDER
4clovesgarlic, cut into little batons
3tablespoonsmelted palm oil or peanut oil
2tablespoonsfreshly ground black pepper, or selim pepper
TAMARIND KANI SAUCE
1 tablespoonpeanut oil
1small onion, chopped
6plum or paste tomatoes, chopped
1 or 2habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, chopped
1bay leaf, crumbled
3tablespoonstamarind paste, seeds removed(some brands still have seeds in them)
2 to 3tablespoonsVietnamese or Thai fish sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste
PREPPING THE ROASTING PAN
Line a roasting pan with lots of foil, overlapping so it's reasonably watertight. You will need to completely wrap the deer shoulder, so have enough foil to do that.
Scatter the sliced onion and garlic cloves in the pan, then sprinkle with the thyme. Pour in the stock.
PREPPING THE POT ROAST
Using a thin knife, stab the venison in various places and shove the batons of garlic inside. Coat the whole deer shoulder with the oil. Salt it well. Mix the mustard, cumin and black pepper together and smear this all over the deer shoulder, getting it into every crevice.
Seal up the shoulder and set in a 200F oven. Roast until tender, which should take at least 3 hours, and as many as 10. With normal deer, start checking after about 5 hours. You want the meat to lift off the bone easily.
TAMARIND KANI SAUCE
If you're making the sauce, do this while the venison cooks. Heat the peanut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chopped onion until translucent, but not browned, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and chopped habanero chiles and cook another minute.
Add the remaining sauce ingredients, mix well and simmer for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and puree in a blender. The sauce should be thick like ketchup.
To serve, give everyone some deer shoulder with some of the juices from the pot, stewed onions and garlic, and serve with the tamarind kani sauce on the side. Crusty bread, rice or sweet potato-plantain fritters are a good accompaniment.
Depending on the age of your deer, cooking can be done in as little as three hours, or as long as 10.If you think you have an older animal, increase the temperature to 225°F.