I first learned about yakamein from a Garden and Gun recipe a few years ago. According to the article, this New Orleans favorite was likely brought to the city by Chinese immigrants back in the 19th century. The easy-to-make and economical favorite stuck, and it's now a classic recipe around the city, complete with street vendors.
What is yakamein? It’s a spicy blend of beef and broth, slow cooked until the meat falls apart and served with pasta, usually spaghetti. Over the years, the recipe has taken on a blend of both Asian and Creole flavors.
As with most recipes, I eventually started to experiment with game meat, in this case venison. The original recipe calls for slow simmering the roast in a pot of water, but that task seemed tailor-made for my Weston Realtree Edge Slow Cooker.
After a few attempts, this is the recipe and method I settled on. There is nothing better to warm your cold bones after a winter’s day afield.
2 to 3 pounds of venison roast, either in one large cut or multiple smaller pieces.
1/2 cup soy sauce, plus more to taste at the table
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons hot sauce, plus more to taste at the table
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 (1-pound) package of spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 bunch scallions, diced
5 hard-boiled eggs, cut in half
Trim any fat and connective tissue from the roast. As always, I’m a big fan of browning a piece of meat in a skillet before slow cooking. I think it adds an extra layer of flavor to the finished dish. You don’t have to cook it through, just brown it for a few minutes on all surfaces in a hot skillet. If you don’t have time, you can skip the browning. The recipe will still be good.
Place the roast in your slow cooker and add the stock, Cajun seasoning, soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, hot sauce, oyster sauce and honey.
Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 until the venison shreds easily with two forks. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker and blend with the cooking liquid.
Just before you are ready to eat, cook the spaghetti and boil the eggs. To plate, fill your bowl with noodles, then spoon over the cooked venison and spicy broth. Top with half a hard-boiled egg and serve with additional soy and hot sauce at the table.
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