Monday, November 12, 2007


It was not without some serious trepidation that I listened to a harried call from the Goddess of Meat and All Things Wild informing me that an entire specimen of Odocoileus hemionus (i.e. mule deer) would be imminently delivered to my doorstep. Luckily he, or she, arrived bereft of the more ungainly purtenances, bisected, and thoroughly chilled. I will kindly spare you, my gentle readers, the grisly snapshots, but I hope will trust my words to capture the moment when burnished steel met quivering flesh in an unprecendented feat of cisorifaction. To be frank, the experience was exhilarating. To hack through haunches, sever sinews, mince massive muscles, and dissect dainty dollops of dark red deer meat. There was nothing especially mysterious about rending steaks from the round, stew meat from the forequarters, chop meat from chuck, nor elegantly tying a roast of loin, or tiny sawn sections of osso bucco from the calves. With the staltward arms of two compatriots, we dispatched the beast in about 2 hours, plied with rum, and frantically filled freezer bags. That evening there were burgers and steaks (marinated in vermouth and juniper, a passing nod to the martini) on the barbecue. What possessed me to roast the bones, which could not possibly fit into my biggest stockpot, I can't say, but the choicest femurs went to Oonaugh, the wonder dog.

So if you happen to pass the intersection of Yale and Lucerne where the resident tribe of carnivores hold their august sacrifices, be sure to stop by and pay your respects to the beast. We will keep the flesh pots burning.

(With apologies to Cardinal Pietro Bembo, master of the Latinate style known as Bembismo, or in English, Euphuisms.)


Gary Allen said...

What did you do with the tenderloins?

They are, by far the finest piece of any deer -- back when I still hunted, I always butterflied them and cooked them au poivre...

Ken Albala said...

One was ominously missing, and I later found out, eaten by the people who skinned and eviscerated it. Someday I'll get to do that I hope. The other one I kept in whith the adjacent sirloin and tied into a large roast. Coming for dinner?

Tana Pesso said...

Hi Ken,

This isn't a post about food, but actually a personal inquiry. My grandmother was Esther Albala from Monastir, Macedonia. I've just set up a Facebook group for Monastirlis, and wondered if you are also a descendant of a Monastirli Sephardi. If so, then do join up with us there. If not, then Vaya con dios,
Tana Pesso

Ken Albala said...

Tana, I have several ancestors named Esther - my grandfather's sister, in fact. We're not from Monastir, but nearby Kastoria, so we probably are related. Do you know the history of the name? Contact me off-line.

I tried to post this on your blog, but there doesn't seem to be anything up yet.

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