As I am writing tonight I'm trying a new type of cooking technique for me. I saw it on an episode of Iron Chef America on Food Network the other night. One of the chefs was cooking some venison in oil to make a confit. He put coffee in his but I am going basic with this experiment to see how the method works. While watching this I immediately became intrigued with the process so I went to my go-to book for information, Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking. He writes that the method was originally used as a way to preserve cooked meats by burying them in a thick, airtight layer of fat. It is best known these days for the French confit of goose and duck legs cooked in their own fat. I've never tasted either of them but it sounds wonderful. If it is anything like Fois Gras I am in!
I started tonight with a package of Venison chops and seasoned them with Kosher salt, black pepper, fennel seed and cumin seed, then covered them in vegetable oil to just cover the meat in a baking dish. I covered the dish with plastic wrap and then with foil ( yes, the plastic wrap is safe in the oven as long as it is under a layer of aluminum foil). I placed the dish in a 300 degree oven and it is now baking for the next two hours. I will report the results in the next post and I am hoping for good things; we'll see.
As an update, please see Venison Confit Success, a later post on this same site and you will find the full recipe that turned out fabulously!