Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pappardelle al ragù di capriolo (pappardelle with venison ragout)

I'm such a slave to the weather. Two days of rain and it's practically autumn, as far as I'm concerned. And after seeing the cover of last month's Saveur around the house for the past 8 weeks, I've had carnivorous yearning for a hearty Bolognese.

So I pulled the venison chorizo from last winter's storage in an effort to continue clearing my freezer and "eating from the pantry". It was still really good, considering it was uncured. The pimentòn in the chorizo wasn't too much when blended with a few glugs of red wine, stewed tomatoes and copious amounts of fresh thyme. The fat from the salt pork also helped, as did the pound of grass-fed beef I used to supplement the lean game.

I didn't have a lot of tomatoes (half a can of stewed, whole toms from the freezer), but this is meat sauce, not red sauce. Also, I had some of my favorite condiment: gochujang, a Korean chili paste that is slightly sweet and miso-y. It's spicy, but not too. And it brings a sticky umami to the sauce that enmeshes perfectly with ungulate and tomatoes. A must-have for any well-stocked pantry.

Just for kicks, I added some dried bing cherries, sundried tomatoes and a dash of balsamic to the mix and let it stew down until the liquid was almost completely absorbed. Toss with fresh pappardelle (not homemade, but it is a workday so cut me some fucking slack) and top with Parm Redge and a chiff of basil.

Enjoyed with 2006 Domaine Brusset Côtes du Ventoux Les Boudalles. An honest, full-bodied wine, reminiscent of stone fruit, bracken, lichen-covered twigs and dry leaves that crackle beneath your feet.

35 comments:

glamah16 said...

Carbs be damned! This rocks. I need to look for that Korean condiment you have there. Ok I'm going to bed now.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Awesome! Love that you used Gochujang in this. Pappardelle is one of my favourite pastas. I figure if you're gonna have noodles you may as well have NOODLES.

Peter G said...

Love the flavour combinations and ingredients...and that Korean paste looks mighty spicy.

Helen said...

Thanks for the tip about the Korean paste, I'll look out for it - never come across it before. I know I'm going to be addicted to it before I've even tried it.

Foodycat said...

What a combination! I can just imagine how it all came together. Dried cherries with venison are a brilliant idea.

kittie said...

Damn you're good...
Loving the cherry/balsamic twist

Syd said...

Balsamic makes everything better.

Don't think I've ever used Pappardelle. That will change soon.

Peter M said...

Look at you, pulling out grandma's dinnerware and shit!

All ribbing aside, the plating looks awesome, would fool the Paisans and you're resourceful in using what's ya got.

Núria said...

What a gourmet you are, Heather!!! That wine has a more aristocratic name than our king!!!

I also love the name of the dish :D The pappardelle look extraordinarious and all the condiments seem great for a rainy day!

Bellini Valli said...

Kudos for this innovative dish Heather:D

cook eat FRET said...

i'm really glad that wine had dried leaf flavor because that is totally my fave second only to twigs with green stuff on them...

how did you know?

another dish to enjoy vicariously. my guess is it's a one off. but it does sound really full bodied in every way.

beautifully done as usual...

Heather said...

Courtney - I can't believe you commented at like 1am. :) You can find gochujang at any well-rounded Asian market.

Marc - Gah, I know! Pappardelle really gives you something to sink your teeth into.

Petah - It's great on a fried egg and rice.

Helen - Gocuhjang is way better than ketchup! Find it!

Foodycat - Dried cranberries would work great, too, I think. I love sweet and savory.

Kittie - It was subtle, but I liked it. :)

Syd - I don't think you can find a thicker noodle other than lasagna. It's one of my faves.

Mr. the Greek - To be fair, my grandma's dishes had roses on them. It took a lot of restraint to not cover my pasta in sauce, but I wanted it to be authentico. :)

Núria - The wine sounds fancy, but was only $10. ;) Shh..it'll be our secret!

Valli - Thank you! :)

Claudia - This dish is so easy, there's no reason for it to be vicarious. Just use beef or pork instead of venison. :)

maybelles parents said...

yum. I use that korean condiment all the time.

purplecook said...

This looks delicious, and I love those Rhone wines-- always such a good deal! I like your blog a lot (I think we have similar cooking styles). Thanks for the korean condiment tip!

cookiecrumb said...

Mm, ungulate!
Your meal sounds fantastic (and it was a weeknight? goodlord).

giz said...

Ok, you win - you are one of the most adventurous cooks I know - WTG - it's always an experience seeing what you've put together.

Catherine Wilkinson said...

That's my girl! Venison! Would you like me to send some elk? I have a tenderloin, I think in the freezer.
Beautiful photo, makes me want to kiss that pappardelle.

Norm Schoen said...

Awesome description of the wine (have you recently subscribed to Wine Advocate?).....bitchin' dinner too! It's your world, we just live in it ; )

Jan said...

Heather, that looks stupendous, as does everything you make.

I have no chance of getting those ingredients in this remote outpost of the country. I just have to work with what I can get. (sniff)

matt wright said...

This looks beyond awesome. You have my new favorite blog! Keep up the great cooking and attitude!

Heather said...

Maybelle's Parents - Surely you have names of your own? :D Gochujang is the Obama.

Purplecook - Thanks for stopping by! I think we do cook alike!

Cookie - It's just store-bought pasta and meat sauce, but oh so satisfying.

Giz - Aw, I just cook regular food in irregular ways. :)

Catherine - Yes please! Foodie exchange! (I sent you an email)

Norm - I have not subscribed to any wine publications, I just made up that description. Did I get it right? ;)

Jan - The great thing about a Bolognese-style sauce is that every cook has her own way of making it, and every cook does it right. :)

Matt - Wow, thank you! I will try to keep it up.

Brittany said...

Mmmmm... hearty, rib-stickin' pasta! Looks great!

I am ashamed of myself for having never tried the korean paste. I'll get my ass to the international district toot sweet to pick up a jar. Thanks for the tip!

Lunch Buckets said...

Ha! It was 107 here yesterday, but today it's raining. We're eating meatloaf. With mashed taters. And gravy :)

Kevin said...

Adding gochujang to the sauce is a great idea!!

Heather said...

Brittany - Get thee to the Asian grocery! You guys have an Uwajimaya, too, so no excuses. :)

Lunch Buckets - Whoa, weird, I was thinking of making meatloaf tonight!

Kevin - Thanks! I love that stuff! T_T

peter said...

Sounds perfect...

Lore said...

Love the cherry kick ;). Parpadelle sounds great as I crave pasta every 2 days, that's just how my body works.
Btw thanks for commenting on my blog and for activating my pasta cravings today.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Gads, I had ramen last night. How do you pull this off day after day?

We Are Never Full said...

DUDE... another winner. this looks like a very gutsy recipe. BUT, i think your idea of adding cherries is a perfect pairing. many dishes for venison ragu or hare ragu in italy are paired with a sweet blackberry or other berry type of sauce. it really balances things out perf.

you shouldn't even ever be in awe of our cooking - you seriously are inspiring too.

fuck shit, blow me... sorry, i had to add some flavah to this majorly too sweet comment.

have a fuckin' great long weekend!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Looks beautiful, Heather! I love all the flavor combinations - sweet, spicy and delicious! I love it all!

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

Your sauce sounds amazing. The undercurrents of the paste, the wine, the balsamic. And the noodles, we won't hold it against you.:-)

Heather said...

Jube - Thanks for pointing me in the right direction with the wine. The southern Rhone was a good region to shoot for.

Lore - No problem - I've been meaning to drop back by, but you know how it is. :)

Jen - I don't do much else these days, for better or worse. :\

Amy - I know there was a lot going on in that sauce, but it totally worked. You have a great weekend too!

Jenn - Thanks! There is something about a huge plate of meaty pasta, isn't there.

Nikki - The pasta was still good! I bought it fresh. Good sauce deserves fresh pasta.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Yum. I want it. Now. And the wine. Actually, just the wine would do right now. Not because I wouldn't want your pasta, but because I just am in dire need of a decent-tasting anesthetic.

Emiline said...

Ahh, it feels like fall, just reading your post. It looks delicious. I've never had a real ragu before.

Zen Chef said...

Gochuchang is one of my favorite condiment too. I love that stuff in Bibimbap so i bet it's great on pappardelle too. And how's venison chorizo? Geez, you got all these cool stuff in your pantry.