Quince with Venison
Quince with Venison

This impressive dish is all about sweet and savory, and using quince fruits, called "membrillo" in Spanish, to add caramelized flavors to tasty game meat. 

Venison, or deer meat, is one of the healthiest game meats out there. As an animal that generally lives in the wild, the deer stands out for having lean meat, low fat, and with less cholesterol and more micronutrients, such as potassium, zinc, and phosphorus. In addition, the animal lives freely which means it is not raised with hormones or antibiotics like so many farmed animals.

Venison meat is highly nutritious and an excellent source of iron and vitamin B12, making it an ideal food for helping combat anemia. B12 ensures optimal production of red blood cells, oxygenating tissues and muscles, and preventing the onset of osteoporosis or heart disease.

Quince, for its part, is well known for its bitter and astringent taste, which helps relieve digestive disorders, promotes good digestion, and enhances the liver's purifying work and lowering blood levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL). All this is possible thanks to the tannins and fiber (in the form of mucilage and pectin) it contains.

How to Prepare Quince Jelly with Venison

Venison meat has a strong flavor. Which is why we're using a sweet, caramelized quince marmalade to soften the intensity. A little thyme-flecked marinade is also ideal for creating extra-tender textures. Make sure you allow for 24 hours to let the venison marinate before cooking.

Ingredients 

  • 1 3/4 lbs. venison 
  • Thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped 
  • 7 oz. quince
  • 7 oz. sugar
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Butter
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation 

For the venison marinade (the day before):

  1. The day before you cook the venison, mix some salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and a drizzle of olive oil in a bowl.
  2. Pour the mixture into a resealable plastic bag and place the meat inside, rubbing the marinade all over the meat. 
  3. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight. 

For the caramelized quince:

  1. Wash and peel the quinces, reserving the skins. Cut the fruit into pieces, removing the core and seeds. 
  2. Place the fruit, together with the skin, in a pot with water, sugar, and the lemon juice. 
  3. Simmer until the quinces are soft and have mixed well with the syrup.
  4. Remove them from the water and set them aside in a slightly warm place.

To cook the meat and serve:

  1. Remove the venison from the refrigerator and remove the meat from the bag. 
  2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil on a large pan and cook venison until it is pink inside and browned on the outside. 
  3. Serve venison with caramelized quince. ¡Buen provecho!

Tips for Making Quince Jelly with Venison

To achieve a soft a juicy texture with venison, we're offering a few tips:

  • Venison has very little fat, which means it can easily become dry and tough if overcooked. The ideal way to maintain its juiciness is to cook it until it takes on a pinkish tone.
  • Another way to prevent it from drying out is to marinate the meat beforehand to lock in moisture and soften the fibers. 
  • Sweet and salty is a great combo, especially when it comes to venison. Fruits like quince, apple, or berries are great sweet contrasts to the savory, gamey meat. 
  • If you want to reduce some of those stronger gamey flavors in venison, add big fruity flavors like orange juice or strawberries. To enhance the flavor or venison, red wine, herbs, and garlic/onion are ingredients you can use to bring out that unique gaminess. 
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