Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dining on Game in Eastern Europe

Missing the opening day of duck season in Nebraska was a big disappointment for me, but my wife and I had a trip scheduled to see the sites of Eastern Europe. 

In Warsaw the first thing I saw on the menu was game.  The people in that part of the country feast on Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Pheasant and other delicasies.  Going out for lunch or dinner is not a quick meal.  It is a dining experience and stretches on for more than an hour.  Wines, appetizers, and other goodies are feasted upon before the main course is presented, and presentation is the first part of the dinner.  It looks not only good, but elegant. 

My first experience was in Warsaw and the fare for me was Roasted Roe Deer.  Roe Deer are a smaller deer than what we have in Iowa with our abundant supply of white tail.  I wanted the recipe, but the language barrier that existed was wide, even though the people in the resturant could speak some english. 

The meat was definitely part of the back strap, and it had been marinated.  In what, I don't know, and I could not find out.  Next it was seared to the point that it was almost black on the outside.  The meat inside was much more tender that our Iowa beef filets, and it was very underdone.  In fact, it was almost rare.  This was meat you could cut with a fork.  The best part was an outstanding flavor and a piece of meat that literally melted in your mouth. Wild game taste was totally gone and the marinate permeated the entire piece of meat.  The waiter had recommended a local dark red wine, and it was outstanding.

What was even more exciting was the resturant dated back to medieval times and the lower levels were still intact and modernized.
One of the dining rooms in the Warsaw Poland restaurant This restaurant is centruies old.
My wife and I at dinner. 

In Krakow we dined with people from the tour and again the fare was elegant and outstanding.  The restaurant was established in 1364 by the name of Wierzynek.  The history is fascinating.  The original owner was the chef for the king. The chef's family established the restaurant.  It was handed down for several generations, and somewhere along the way the chain was broken.

An elegant experience in Krakow

The royal family above the restaurant

The next dining experience was in Budapest at the Alabardos Restaurant on the Buda side of the Danube.  The restaurant is in a 400 year old gothic building from the14th century.  Bringing back long forgotten Hungarian dishes is a speciality of the restaurant.  Grilled duck liver, flambeed beetroot, polenta roasted with walnut, and rib of suckling pig with green pepper sauce potatoes fried on duck grease and mustard onion.  How does all that sound?  Again ;you do not sit down, eat and run.  This is a dining experience complete with live classical music and candle light.  The waiter always pairs the dinner with a local wine.

Dining with newly made friends

Traveling through the country side we stopped for lunch at a really unique restaurant.  The feast was outstanding.  I dined on deer meatloaf.  Again, language was a problem.  The people could communicate in relatively good english, but when it came to describing the spices and processes they used to prepare the meats, it was lost to us.  We know salt and pepper and if you get too much of something else in a foreign language it is lost.  Whatever they put in the meatloaf, it had a sweet flavor with a hint of an additional spice.  My goal this winter is to determine what was in it.

Stag Atlers in the Restaurant

Wild Boar mounted over Deer Antlers. 

One of Vlad's castles

Besides shooting ducks, deer, and turkey, my goal this winter is to find out what marinate was used and how all the meats were cooked. 

Great Sales going on at these outdoors suppliers.  You cannot own enough gear. 
Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank.


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