I briefly shared the story of this small roast yesterday through several of our social media communities but it’s such an important insight into hunting and the way we eat that I thought I’d risk the monotony of the story of the venison tenderloin:
This deer was shot near our cabin in Huntsville, Ontario on a friends property. My Father saw the animal first, took a shot and missed (in 50 years of hunting he’s harvested about 6 large animals; this is the first I remember him missing) but a friend was able to harvest the animal down the line.
Our camps share meat with all of the hunters (not all camps do) – dad was gifted the tenderloin as part of his share. He, in turn, gifted it to me.
I’m 39 years old and have grown up eating venison my entire life. There are two per animal so getting one is rare (it’s often portioned into steaks as it’s an easier way to share between a large group of families). This is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to cook or eat one.
Hunting has taught me so much when it comes to respecting our food sources. I knew last night that this was a meal I would rarely, if ever, have the chance to repeat. The sale of game is prohibited in Canada so access to this cut is extremely limited. Comparing this to many butcher shops which have display cases filled with steaks and tenderloin provides a stark contrast.
Cooking such a meal is intimidating. You get one chance to get it right. For the days leading up to cooking the tenderloin a voice inside my head kept telling me, “Don’t F*#( it up.” I enjoy that pressure – when it works out.
Thankfully things did work out last night. It was a humbling meal and one that had a lot of reflection on the animal and the land it came from. Thoughts about family and friends who shared it and the traditions passed down. It was an honor to cook and an honor to eat.
This was just fantastic. We’ll share cooking methods later but for now I thought sharing the experience may be relevant and shared to some of our readers and interesting to others.
If you’re interested in learning more about hunting, here’s a few starting points:
- Introduction to Hunting (Confessions of a One-Time Vegetarian)
- A Year Without Moose – How Life Changes (reflections on an unsuccessful hunt and how it impacts us)
- My daily Moose hunting diaries (note there is 9-12 long posts in each of these series – they are my full diary from the woods for each year and are almost 100,000 words combined. Essentially this is a book on Moose Hunting and what it’s like – there are no ‘gory’ pictures. Start reading at the bottom of each and read upwards to get the chronology of events as they happened:
- A bunch of articles generally about hunting (it includes some of the above)