This is my final Oscar Noms post of the year, as the awards show is this evening, and this one pretty much wrote itself in terms of what I was going to make. The Imitation Game…imitation game… what a perfect opportunity to take a game-y, meaty dish and veganize it. Lucky for me, my friend Annie Shannon has a perfect recipe on her site for Vegan Venison with Cranberry and Wine Sauce, which can also be found in her cookbook Betty Goes Vegan. As she points out, “venison” doesn’t only refer to deer, but to any “wild game on four legs,” which could also include elk, caribou, or moose.
I’ll share with you my own experience with venison. When I was very young, probably around 8 years old, we had steak for dinner one evening. “Special” steak, I was told. After I ate my dinner, my dad announced, “You ate deer!” I’m pretty sure my brother said, “You ate Bambi!” And now I’m vegan. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
So there’s no need to eat deer or elk or cows or any of our other friends when there are things like seitan, or ready-made Gardein products, just for example, in your grocery store. It’s still freezing cold here in NYC, and it was snowing yesterday when I made this, so Annie’s wintery, Christmasy recipe with cranberries and red wine is still perfect long after the holidays are over. I made it with seitan instead of the Gardein Beefless Tips because that’s what I had on hand, and served it over herbed mashed potatoes. Also, it was incredibly, surprisingly hard to find apple jelly – I searched four different stores – so I just added some apple cider instead and it still worked out fine, adding just the touch of sweetness. So go to the link above and make this vegan “venison” dish if you want something really comforting and warming and delicious. And enjoy the Oscars show, if you are watching, or even better, if you’re throwing your own party.