Who knew collard greens would be so difficult to find in Singapore? Well, now I do. I didn’t manage to procure them in the end, so the chefs at Mahota Commune recommended I substitute it with Swiss chard, and it turns out that these leafy greens with vibrantly coloured stems added a much-needed burst of colour to our otherwise innocuous-looking wraps.
The leaves form the most essential part of Cassandra Reeder’s Gunslinger Burrito recipe, which is inspired by Stephen King’s Dark Tower. Her recipe also used venison and chanterelle mushrooms, although she did make a note that I should be able to make any substitutions I like. I took her up on this and used beef and oyster mushrooms instead. I started with prepping the steak, since the recipe requires it to brine for an hour at room temperature. The mushrooms, green onions and garlic needed as trimmings can be prepared while waiting for the hour to pass, which is easy enough for any beginner cook—just chop them up and fry them. At the end of it, all I really needed to do was grill the meat and construct the “burrito”.
Serves 2 | Level: EASY | Total time: 1.5 hours
- 8 ounces (225 g) venison backstrap or other lean game meat, trimmed and brought to room temperature
- 19 pinches (1 tsp) salt
- 1 tbsp lard or other animal fat
- ¼ cup (40 g) wild onion or 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tsp wild garlic or 1 clove regular garlic, minced
- 1 cup (100 g) porcini or chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
- 2 large collard green leaves, stems removed
- Brine the venison by coating it with the salt and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour. Then shake off the salt and pat the steaks dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat the grill or a griddle to hot, then grill the steaks for 15–20 minutes or until medium to medium-rare. Test the steak using your fingers—if it’s too soft when you poke it, it’s not done, and if it’s hard when you poke it, it’s overdone. You want just a bit of give when you poke it. When done, let the steak rest.
- Melt the lard or other fat in a skillet on medium-high heat, then add the onions and garlic and sauté until they soften. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are brown and juicy.
- Now that the steak has rested, slice it into ½-inch (13 mm) slices.
- Now construct the Gunslinger Burrito. Take each collard green leaf and spread it out. Top with the sliced venison and the sautéed onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Roll up like a burrito and eat like a gunslinger!
The Geeky Chef Strikes Back is published by Race Point Publishing. ©2017 Cassandra Reeder
For SALT’s full review, download our December 2017 issue here! Meanwhile, here are the other dishes from the book that we tested: Jawa Juice from Star Wars, White Dragon Noodles from Blade Runner, Beef and Bacon Pie from Game of Thrones, and Norma’s Cherry Pie from Twin Peaks.