Monday, January 1, 2018

Axis Deer - Joe's Special

Anshu Pathak of Exotic Meat Market, and his wife Claudia, have become friends over the years. I was looking back over my blog and noted that in December 2010 I tried camel steak, beaver leg, a whole raccoon and smoked python, all items I purchased on-line from Exotic Meat Market. My whole raccoon meal has been one of the most memorable meals I've cooked, and the post has been one of my more controversial and viewed posts. 

In December 2013 I met Anshu and Claudia for the first time. I traveled to their office in Perris, California and took some sushi with me to share with them. In turn, they provided some amazing Australian wagyu, both as sushi and cooked. 

The Exotic Meat Market Warehouse moved from Perris to Grand Terrace, much closer to my home. It made it much more accessible for me and I dropped in occasionally. 

In 2015 Anshu emailed me that he had a fox, the first one he's had, and he asked if I wanted to buy it. I did, then several months later he emailed me and asked me if I'd eaten it yet. I hadn't, but invited him and Claudia to come to Thanksgiving dinner at our home where we would prepare and serve it. They came and we had a marvelous time with them and some of our friends. 

In early 2016 I listened to an NPR podcast where they cooked a peacock pie using a recipe that was hundreds of years old. They bought the peacock from Exotic Meat Market and shared their initial phone conversation with Anshu when they called him about obtaining the bird. Inspired by the podcast, I called Anshu and told him I wanted to cook a peacock pie and invited him up to the house to eat it. We had Anshu and Claudia up to our house a second time and enjoyed a fun dinner with them and some other friends. 

Over time we have benefited from Claudia's amazing cooking skill, her artistry and her love for exotic fruit. She has shared with us her homemade water buffalo tongue puree, among other things, and fruits such as kaffir lime, finger limemangosteen, sapodilla, and black sapote

For my birthday in 2017, we invited Anshu and Claudia to join us at the Restaurant Animal in Los Angeles. I'd been there once before and it is one of my favorite restaurants. Animal is a restaurant that does amazing things with offal and I figured that Anshu and Claudia would be fun to share that kind of food with, and they were. 

In August 2017 we had our daughter and grandgirls visiting and asked Anshu and Claudia if we could take them over to their farm in Perris. They graciously allowed us to visit twice and we had a wonderful time meandering among the emus, ostriches, goats, llamas and other animals at their farm. 

Shortly before Christmas I visited the Exotic Meat Market store in Grand Terrace and Joe, one of their employees, had made an axis deer dish, I'm not sure exactly what to call it, but it was sort of a curry. I've tried some of Joe's dishes in the past and he's a pretty good cook, with access to some amazing ingredients. Anshu sent me home with some of it and it was outstanding. Anshu has told me several times that axis deer is his favorite meat and I've cooked axis deer rib chops from Exotic Meat Market that were fantastic. This dish did nothing to negate that claim. I'm not sure what the basic cut was, and I'm not sure what ingredients Joe added to it, but it was very good. It was wet, savory, just a little spicy, had wonderful flavor and was not gamy at all.  
Joe's axis deer meat, just warmed up in the microwave.
I can't think of a better way to kick off a new year than to reminisce over a fun association we've developed over the years and to celebrate some good food!

No comments:

Post a Comment