Get your skillets ready—yes, two of them. This two-component dish by Indigenous bush cook Art Napoleon fries up deer in one skillet and clam fritters in another. It's inspired by an episode of Napoleon and classically trained chef Dan Hayes' TV show Moosemeat and Marmalade, which is shot in Masset in Northern Haida Gwaii. The fifth season is airing now—here's a taste.
- 1 cup chopped razor clams, fresh or jarred
- 1/3 cup minced onion
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup panko
Pan Fried Deer Cutlets
- 4-6 deer cutlets* cut from loins or back-strap, but any tender cuts will work (can be substituted for venison in this recipe)
- 1 large handful of fingerling potatoes or Haida potatoes
- Oil or lard for frying
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ cup salal berries (any hard-skinned wild berries will also work )
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, setting aside a bit of the panko.
- Mix until fritter dough can form patties or clam balls. If the mixture is runny, add more panko or roll clam balls in a dish of panko before frying.
- Heat ½ inch of canola oil in the bottom of a skillet until oil reaches medium/high heat then add a clam fritter for testing.
- If the fritter browns too quickly, it could be raw in the middle so adjust the temperature according to your burner as every cooktop is different. I personally like to make smaller balls or patties to ensure even cooking all the way through.
- When you’re satisfied with your oil temperature and the size of your clam fritters, fry up a whole skillet of them, turning over halfway through to ensure a golden-brown colour and crispiness to the crust.
- Remove fritters with a slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper.
- Serve hot with tartar sauce or a side of coleslaw.
Pan Fried Deer Cutlets
- Wash fingerling potatoes and slice diagonally. If you don’t have fingerling potatoes, substitute any yellow fleshed potatoes and cut them small enough that they will fry quickly.
- Heat oil or lard in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add sliced potatoes and fry, stirring for about 5 minutes.
- Add deer cutlets next; they don’t take long to cook. Turn them once in a while to ensure even browning.
- When the deer is almost cooked to your liking and potatoes begin to caramelize, add the berries and fry up the entire mixture, adding more oil as needed.
- Place the entire turf fry on a large plate and drizzle the pan grease and any of the sauce that has formed over the entire mixture. Serve hot alongside clam fritters!