Gochujang Marinated Flank Steak with Ramen

Wedged into a rock outcropping above an aspen wooded valley Ryan and I glassed a decent sized herd of mule deer. The big buck was defending his territory at the end of October, his neck swollen his harem being pounced upon by an invasive hoard of smaller bucks on the periphery. He would run off one challenger after another in one-sided easily won fights. At about 300 yards this buck would have been a great wall hanger, but that was not the season Ryan and I were hunting. He had the “general season” tag that allowed him to shoot only “forky” bucks.

We had to simply watch the show and hope that a little buck would show himself. Alas, no shooter showed up and eventually the herd wandered down the drainage out of sight. Back to the truck we hiked.

Ryan, the guy with the tag, said “If that is the show for the day, hell the week, this was time well spent.”

“Yeah, not every day you get to watch the rut in action” I said.

We then proceeded to go on a series of “trusty” spots looking for deer. From one vantage point to another, from one block of buckbrush to the next, we hiked and drove. Doe after doe on the hills, not a horn in sight.

We stopped and ate a quick hot lunch of packaged ramen off of the camp stove. It slid down with a Gatorade and peanut butter and honey sandwich. Not exactly gourmet, but surly under $3, and that is the point somedays.

Eventually, about 3pm, we made a wide loop and came to the top of a long draw with a great view below. Then I dun messed up. The giant stick my foot was on cracked, then broke clean in half. The noise floating up the valley like a beacon, it was a cringe worth moment. Seconds later, still with that “oops” look on my face, I caught sight of a doe head at 100 yards. She was starring right back at me. Ryan was not amused either, but little can be done. This hunt just went from a “Spot and Stalk” to a “Spook and Shoot” in a heartbeat.

Soon a heard of deer was filing out the draw below us. One after another I watched them, tail raised, run out of the draw. “Doe” I said, watching the herd pass by. “Doe, Doe, Doe” as they began to file past us in the draw below about fifteen total. Soon the herd cut back to a leafless aspen grove following a well-used game trail. Joining the initial herd was a new group of deer, appearing from a different section of the draw. “Doe, Doe…%$%& sake – a spike, I got horns!” I proclaimed.

“On him” said Ryan.

“Cool” I replied.

“Do I shoot?” said Ryan.

“Your tag” I replied.

“Yardage?”

“I have no idea”

“Wind?”

“A little”

“Dude, you are not helping” said Ryan.

“Well you are not shooting” I responded.

Then he did. One shot from his .285 rang out across the valley. The young buck had been quartering away from us at about 300 yards. Ryan, off a shooting stick, hit the buck just behind his left shoulder, sending the bullet through the beasts’ heart. The buck simply crumpled, never knowing another thing.

Ryan tagged the buck the started back to the truck for the pack boards. I dressed and quartered the deer – getting him into game bags quickly. Then we hauled him back in one fell swoop.

ryan

“Want any of this guy?” Ryan asked.

“Can I have the flank steaks” I said.

“Really? That’s it?” he replied.

“I have an idea…”

Gochujang Marinated Flank Steak with Ramen

Sometimes making classy junk food is just fun, done right it can be delicious. Like many college students I have eaten an inordinate amount of “ramen” in my day. At 25¢ each they are a cheap way to full an empty belly. But with just a few extra items a bowl full or salt and starch can turn into a bowl of decadence. Cue this recipe for Venison Flank Steak.

Located on the outside of the deer’s ribcage the flank steak is an often underutilized cut of meat. Most times it is peeled off of the ribs and tossed into the “grind” pile. That is a shame – marinated, quickly grilled and sliced thin the meat is delectable.

To find the flank simply look under the front quarters and on-top of the ribs. This area holds the “brisket” cut – or the breast meat off a deer. Behind that, on each side, is the flank meat. It will only ever be about 1 inch thick. It should peel off the ribs with little work – but it will be covered in fat and silver skin. Clean the flank as well as you can without losing too much meat. Slide the tip of the knife under the silver skin and slide it along the meat, discarding the silver skin. I typically loose about 30% to trim, but that is way worth it.

The next step is to marinate the flank steak – it can be for as little as 4 hours or up to 24. Really the flavor is great so do this step however you would like. Then grill the flank steak, this adds a great smokiness to the dish. I then add a poached egg, fresh vegetables and a dash of Shichimi Togarashi – giving the whole dish a kick up of flavor. For a cheap meal that is quick and easy to prepare, this one fills the stomach and tastes great too.

Marinade

1 each Deer Flank Steak (about 1# of venison total, really any cut could work with this)

1 tablespoon Gochujang

1 tablespoon Honey

1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

2 tablespoons Water

1 teaspoon Shichimi Togarashi

1 each Deer Flank Steak (about 1# of venison total, really any cut could work with this)

Add everything but the flank steak to a medium sized mixing bowl. Combine with a fork until mix is smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Add the flank steak and coat evenly with the marinade. Cover bowl with clear film and leave in the fridge anywhere from 4-24 hours.

Heat grill to medium-high. Take the venison directly from the refrigerator to the grill, do not pre-warm the meat at all. Cook flank steak no more than 3 minutes on each side. Remove to clean plate and let rest before slicing. Slice thin and serve on top of the Ramen bowl.

The “Ramen”

6 cups water

1 tablespoon vinegar, white

2 packages “Oriental” Ramen

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup matchstick carrots

1 cup chopped kale

4 eggs

1 mango, cored and sliced thin

In one medium sized sauce pan add 4 cups water, bring to a boil. In a separate sauté pan add two cups of water and add the vinegar – bring to a simmer. Add to the ramen (including the flavor pouches, opened), broccoli, carrots and kale to the four cups of water. Bring back to a boil and remove from heat.

Crack, gently, the four eggs into the vinegar-water and let simmer until the egg whites completely set but the yolk is still runny, about 2 minutes.

Portion into four bowls the ramen, broth and vegetable mix. Top each bowl with a poached egg, sliced mangos and sliced flank steak. Enjoy!

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