In my Wine of the Week Pairing column for July 4, in which I write about Bogle Vineyards 2013 California Old Vine Zinfandel, I suggest that one of the best matches for this wine is venison crepinettes. I promised to post the recipe and here it is, from More Than Meatballs (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014, 1995).
The first crepinette I ever tasted was made with fresh venison and it was extraordinarily delicious. If you don’t have venison, you can make these with wild boar, buffalo, grass-fed beef, lamb or goat. Be sure not to overcook the crepinettes, as they will loose that yummy succulence. They are best cooked to rare or medium rare.
- 3 pounds venison neck, shoulder or brisket, ground twice
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground juniper berry
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 ounces caul fat
- Put the ground venison into a large bowl, add the salt, sage, peppers, clove, allspice, juniper berry and nutmeg and mix thoroughly.
- Cover a baking sheet with a sheet of wax paper.
- Use a 2-ounce ice-cream scoop to divide the mixture into balls and set each one on the wax paper.
- Spread the caul fat on a clean work surface and wrap each portion of venison, being sure to overlap the edges as the caul fat will shrink a bit. Press down very gently on each crepinette to flatten it just a bit.
- At this point, you can freeze some or all of the crepinettes. To do so, simply set the baking sheet in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Remove the frozen crepinettes and pack them into freezer bags.
- To cook the crepinettes, set a large heavy skillet over medium heat and add the crepinettes, seam side down. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes, turn and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or a little longer. They should have firmed up a bit but not completely.
- Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve hot, with a simple green salad alongside.