Glamorous hunting trips in exotic locations pursuing trophy game are all the rage. Take the story of my friend, Dewayne, for instance:
Fortune smiled on Dewayne, for he won the lottery —the real one: the South Dakota deer tag lottery! And without a moment’s pause, he booked a local guide and set about a trip.
The morning of his hunt, he eases from bed, well before the sun rises, and finds a world covered in snow with temperatures dropping nearly as forcefully as the northern wind blisters his face. His guide drops him off on a hillside and says “set your blind up facing that way, aim steady, and call me when you drop it flat.”
Groggy and shivering in the dark, Dewayne unpacks his blind and pops it up on the hillside. He unfolds his chair and collapses into it with a heavy yawn. As his weight hits the chair it flips backwards sending, our friend, Dewayne (blind, chair, bow-and-arrows, and all), rolling end-over-end down the hillside.
Snow-covered, bruised, and confused he lays at the bottom of the hill —flat on his back. He digs his phone out of his pocket and mutters to the guide, “It’s flat.”
In honor of our friend’s glamorous hunting adventure, I present:
Smoked Venison Flatbread Featuring Sweet Onion, Bacon and Fig Sauce and Topped with Goat Cheese
Marinade for deer ham (red wine, apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, orange slices and enough water to cover ham)
Several slices of bacon
Marinate the deer ham for at least six hours (overnight works perfectly). Bring your smoker to a temperature between 200 and 225 (note: I think mild wood works best for this type of cooking —oak, pecan, apple).
Coat the deer ham with olive oil and generously season with kosher salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Next drape the deer ham in bacon slices--maybe even top with a wedge of onion as pictured.
Smoke the deer ham until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 to 150 degrees (rare to medium rare). The time will vary depending on the size of the deer ham. The ones pictured were quite small and only required about three hours on the smoker. Once the deer ham reaches temperature loosely wrap in foil and let it rest.
For the smoked onion, cut off the root end and the opposite end of the onion so it will sit flat. Roll the sweet onion in olive oil and season it with kosher salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Top it with brown sugar. Make a foil chimney to enclose the onion and limit the amount of smoke. Place on smoker for at least an hour (I let mine smoke for the same time as the deer ham).
To make the sauce, spoon the fig preserves into a foil pan. Remove the bacon from the deer ham and chop it finely. Chop the smoked sweet onion. Add the bacon and onion to the fig preserves and allow the sauce to meld in the smoker for about thirty minutes.
Slice the deer ham into thin slices.
To assemble the flatbreads, brush each with olive oil. Spoon the fig, bacon and onion sauce on each and spread it out with the back of your spoon. Place thin slices of venison on each. Top with rounds of goat cheese and drizzled olive oil.
Place the assembled flatbreads into the smoker until the bread crisps and the goat cheese softens (about twenty minutes –note: I increased the temperature of my smoker for this step to about 350). Slice the flatbread into squares and serve.
Fall flat glamorously, my friend.