Crispy Venison Flatbread With Figs & Sweet Pepper Jam
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
When I’m feeling a little unimaginative in my wild game kitchen, one of the fastest routes back to inspiration is a quick side trip to the land of easy homemade pizza crust and experimentation with wild protein toppings. Homemade wild game pizzas and flatbreads, with ooey-gooey mozzarella and a variety of complimentary ingredients, seem to disappear faster than a mature buck catching a whiff of a restless hunter.
In this version, smoked, fried venison brats with Italian seasonings, caramelized onions, and reconstituted figs come together for a delicious salty-sweet bite. Instead of a traditional tomato red sauce, the dough is slathered with a sweet chili jam. For cheese, fresh burrata adds creaminess, and mozzarella provides the essential gooeyness. Once out of the oven, drizzle with a balsamic reduction.
Cut immediately and serve. Grab your piece right away though, or it will likely be gone by the time you set down the pizza cutter!
1 fresh pizza/flatbread crust (recipe below)
2 -3 smoked venison brats, sliced and grilled, or pan fried
1/3 to 1/2 Cup fresh or reconstituted figs, quartered
2/3 C caramelized onions1 ball of burrata cheese1 ball fresh or 3/4 C shredded mozzarella
1/3 C balsamic vinegar, (reduce and thickened to maple syrup consistency in a small pan)
Optional: fresh fennel or kale micro greens for garnish and flavor
Pizza/Flatbread Crust (Mark Bittman’s Recipe)
You won’t believe how simple it is to make pizza dough at home. And because the dough freezes very well (at least for a couple weeks), it’s even practical to whip up a batch for one or two people and tuck the rest away in the refrigerator or freezer for another day. Once you are comfortable making the basic pizza dough recipe, you might want to try my absolute favorite at-home dough recipe. It requires #00 super fine flour, and a bit of trial and error, but the delicate crispy bite it yields after a high-heat bake rivals anything you'll eat in the artisan shops using wood fired ovens. Hey, it's only flour, water, salt and yeast. Give it a try.
While Bittman uses a food processor, you can make pizza dough by hand, or with a standing mixer. Use a bowl and a heavy wooden spoon when working by hand, or the mixer’s bowl and the paddle attachment. When the dough becomes too heavy to stir, use your hands or exchange the mixer’s paddle for the dough hook and proceed with the recipe.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil. (I substituted 1/2 cup corn meal for 1/2 cup flour for a crunchier crust.
2. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)
3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size; 1 to 2 hours.
4. When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into two or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.
5. Stretch and roll the dough into desired shape, and top with ingredients. Start with sweet pepper jam, then meat, then figs, onions and cheeses.
6. Slip into a preheated 450- to 500-degree oven. Use a pizza stone, or bake on the back of a heavy cookie sheet.
7. Remove when edges are browned and cheese is bubbling; 10-15 minutes.