This is an adapted recipe from Michigan, a state where venison is greatly admired and the locally grown Asparagus is crisp and fresh. I grew up in Oceana County Michigan where spring time is all about Asparagus and Autumn about hunting for White Tail Deer. Learning to cook from locally raised crops and wild game is a part of the natural rhythm of Michigan residents, a state blessed with abundant lakes and streams and rich farmland. Here some of us forage and hunt for the sport, but for others it’s survival. For me it’s about eating locally grown organic foods with free range being a plus. We Michiganders do forage for food and incorporate our finds into everyday recipes.
1 12-16 ounce Venison tenderloin, sliced thin
1 cup rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, tips trimmed
Wild Ramps or Shallots
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
Salt and pepper
Cook the white rice:
Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add a half teaspoon of salt and the rice, and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook the rice for 20 minutes (or follow package instructions). When done, remove from heat, fluff with a spoon, and leave partially covered until ready to serve.
While the Rice is cooking:
Whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and corn starch. Set sauce aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a cast iron wok pan over high heat. Add the venison and cook, stirring and turning once or twice, until edges begin to brown and they are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over cook. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the wild ramps and asparagus to the same pan, stir fry for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then add the sugar snap peas. Pour half of the water into the pan, and scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up browned bits. You may need to add all of the water, depending on how high the heat and how brown your pan.
Sauté the vegetable mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes, until asparagus and peas are bright green but still very crunchy. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir in the sauce and the cooked venison. Continue stirring until the sauce has thickened and the meat and vegetables look glazed. Serve immediately on white rice.