Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elk Ring Bologna (yeah, you read that right!),Turnips, and Apples over Wilted Spinach

One of the things that I really like about the greater Milwaukee area is the plethora of farmer's markets.  Especially in the summer time, you can pretty much find one every day of the week.  In the winter they get a little more scarce, but they're still there.  Saturdays, we have a lovely "Winter Farmer's Market" at the WI State Fair grounds.  I highly recommend it.  On the other hand, I don't recommend it at all, because right now I can get there at 10:00am and there's still lots left.  If everyone knew about it, I would have to get up early...

So, this past Saturday, I stocked up my freezer with meat.  There were a lot of different things there - more than usual even - and I got some more unusual items including a lamb shoulder, and a package of elk ring bologna.  What did I plan to do with elk ring bologna?  No idea.  I have this memory of being a child and my dad making ring bologna sauteed with onions.  I do not remember enjoying it.  Now, though, it sounds pretty good, in a nostalgic kind of way.

On the other hand, my husband hates onions, so that probably won't work anyway.

I also bought three turnips.  I've never cooked a turnip, but they looked pretty, and the choices for vegetables are fairly lacking at this time of the year.

So, this is what I came up with.  I started with this recipe, but the results really have nothing to do with it:

Elk Ring Bologna, Turnips, and Apples
Makes 2 servings, with probably enough left over for lunch the next day.
  • 3/4 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced (not local)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced (not local)
  • 2 medium turnips
  • 1/2 cup or more apple cider (thank you West Allis Cheese Market, at the Milwaukee Public Market, for having Door County Apple Cider!!)
  • 1 large apple (not local, unfortunately, but bought from my local co-op.  Also organic, and at least from the US)
  • 1 small onion, chopped coarsely
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lb ring bologna (preferably elk, because it was tasty!), cut into 1/2 inch slices
Cut the tops off of the turnips, and cut them into 1/2 inch wide wedges.  Add to a large pan on high heat, with a splash of the apple cider.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until turnips just start to get soft (5 or so minutes).  Keep an eye on the turnips, and if the pan starts to get dry, add more cider.  However, you do want most of the cider to have evaporated or cooked into the turnips for the next step.

Add the 2 tbsp butter, and allow to melt.  Add garlic, ginger, onion, and apple and saute, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Add ring bologna and cook until apples are soft, and bologna is bubbly.

I served all of this over Wilted Spinach:
Makes two servings
  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 clove minced garlic (not local)
  • 1 small shallot, minced (not local)
  • 4 large handfuls spinach
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Fresh lemon juice (not local... although I'm thinking about buying a miniature lemon tree which would fix that problem)
  • Salt and pepper
Chop bacon coarsely and saute in a large frying pan.  Once bacon is crispy, remove it with a slotted spoon.  Add shallots and garlic to bacon fat, and saute gently.  Remove from heat, and add spinach to pan.  Season with vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and toss the spinach until it is nicely wilted.

    1 comment:

    1. Okay, she made me do it! I tried Elk for the first time and it was pretty awesome. The sweetness of the apples paired really well with the lean sausage. Thanks Kate for encouraging me to step outside my box!