Everybody, meet Sumac. Sumac, this is everybody.
I really love Mediterranean food. Maybe it’s because I imagine other people, not me but other people, sitting on a terrace somewhere staring over beautiful blue water eating similar fare and drinking copious amounts of wine. As “Mediterranean” sort of slips over into “Middle Eastern,” so expands my spice cabinet. Yes, I understand that not everybody is a spice hound and has a spice cabinet that looks like this:
A person such as myself has sumac on hand. You may not, but it’s a really great spice that’s a little peppery but also citrusy. Sprinkle it on salad or hummus if you want to try it out. Or, make this really quick and easy recipe. :)
Moving on. I found this recipe on a Lebanese recipe blog that I find just fabulous. Meat and hummus together? Why didn’t I think of that? The creamy hummus with the meat chunks goes together better than you think. Throw in some pita and a big salad and you have a meal. Or, you can make the servings smaller and make it part of a tapas spread. In the original post she made her own hummus. You can certainly do this (I did, but only because I had hummus ingredients on hand and wanted to save a trip to the store.) But for a weeknight? Store bought hummus these days is pretty good, use whatever you like.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s kind of lightening fast, quick and easy to throw together on a week night and perfect with a big salad to round out your dinner. While your meat is marinating, prep your plates, prep your salad, warm the pita. Even working in two batches (like I instructed in the recipe) the meat cooked up in about 15 minutes. I also tried this with ground elk and it was good that way too. I preferred the textural balance of the larger chunks of meat, but we all know wild game can be a little chewy sometimes and if you have young children that don’t work so well with steak knives yet, using ground meat is an excellent alternative. It was uglier though, so I did not photograph the ground meat.
Seared Elk with Hummus
- 1 carton hummus (or homemade - you need about 2 T per person)
- 1.5lb venison (cubed, you can use stew meat)
- juice of two lemons
- zest of one lemon
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoons sumac
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (separated)
- 1 tablespoon butter (separated)
- toasted pine nuts (for garnish)
- minced mint (for garnish)
|Marinate the cubed meat in the lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and 1 T of the sumac for about 30 minutes, until the meat has come to room temperature. Meanwhile, prep your plates by taking a large glob of hummus and spreading it thinly around the plates with a back of a spoon. This might take two globs of hummus.|
|Heat a skillet to medium high heat (about a 6 out of 10) and add half the butter and olive oil. Add half the meat and sear on all sides until the meat is cooked through and the meat pieces start to caramelize. Remove to a dish and set aside. Remove the butter/oil from the pan, and repeat this process with the other half of the meat. When finished, add the other tablespoon of sumac to the meat and toss to coat. Place the meat on top of the hummus and garnish with toasted pine nuts and chopped mint. Serve with pita bread.|