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MYRON'S 20-GAUGE" FISH AND GAME SAUCE
'REMARKABLE' IS THE ONLY WORD' ----
---unless 'just darn good' suits you better!
I hope you read this Product Evaluation all the way through. This is one of those rare times when we find a truly great product and something that fully lives up to the claims made in its advertising.
Being a well-visited Internet site, www.strickmarsh.com (also accessed as www.jimporter.org) gets its share of product samples for evaluation. In most cases, the products are fishing or boating oriented. But, then we ran into Jerry Soucy.
Jerry had visited our site and noted that, not only did we provide great fishing information, we also had published a cookbook. That rang his bell right away, in that Jerry was working up an advertising program for a new cooking sauce. One email led to another and soon we were introduced to "Myron's 20 Gauge", a product of World-renown chef, Myron Becker.
Before you write this off as just another Bar-B-Que sauce, or such, let me assure you it is not. This is a product that was primarily developed to be a highly effective marinate, for both tenderizing and flavoring meats, particularly wild game. The 'outdoors' approach is obviously a source of that part of the name given to the product, -- "20 Gauge". As a marinate, "Myron's 20 Gauge"is superb. But, it also serves as a great flavoring ingredient and as a serving sauce for cooked foods.
Wild game tends to be a bit tough, with little natural fat for flavor and tenderness. Some of the meats tend to have a degree of what is often termed 'wild taste', based on the primary food source of the creature. Deer that forage a lot of acorns are a good example. Their flesh tends to be lean and stringy, with slight bitter, or 'strong' taste. Deer that hang around corn and soybean fields, on the other hand, can be nearly as tender as succulent as beef cattle. Ducks and pheasants tend to be the same, depending on whether they feed off wild berries and roots, versus rice and bean crops.
But, with "Myron's 20 Gauge", wild game becomes every bit as tender and tasty as its store-bought counterparts.
Here is what we did to test "Myron's 20 Gauge".
We took a Virginia mountain deer rump roast, a mallard duck, and a partial rack of spare ribs from a wild hog (all frozen for a period of months). In appropriately sized ZipLoc bags, we placed each meat and one cup (2 for the deer roast) of "Myron's 20 Gauge". Squeezing the air out as completely as possible, we zipped the bags tight and placed each in the lower part of our refrigerator for 8 hours, turning every couple of hours. Next, we took some frozen chicken breasts and some rather poor looking pork steaks and did the same to them.
After the marinating time, we inspected the meats. The first thing readily noticeable was that the meat was starting to separate along the membrane lines, especially the duck and chicken. (Myron later advised us that this was due to the tenderizing effects of the marinate breaking down the connective tissue and fat.) We then placed the meats on different gas grills Only one burner of each gas grill was fired up to medium low and the meat was placed on the grate at the opposite end, away from the direct heat. The lids were closed and we let them cook slowly. No other seasonings were used, except for basting with the remaining marinate when we turned the meats every thirty minutes, or so.
The results sold me on this product. And it will you, too, when you use it the very first time.
All the meats had one common result that was particularly noticeable - all were moist and juicy inside! That is normally does not happen when cooking on a gas grill, as most meats tend to dry over open flame cooking. But, ours did not. (Myron also explained this as the marinate sort of 'cauterizing' the exterior of the meat and holding the juices inside.) The meats, particularly the light colored chicken and pork, took on a slight dark, smoky color (see photo). The duck, being a reddish color to start with, became slightly brown. All had a hint of soy sauce, smoke and sweetness that teased our noses. (Myron's lovely wife, Kathy, informed us that the coloration came from the soy and the rare Muscavado black sugar used.)
But, the real achievement was the tenderness and juiciness! It cannot be adequately explained; it must be experienced. If you dine on wild game, you know about the dry, tough texture and poor flavor that often results from cooking, particularly if the meat has been previously frozen. Domestic meats can be the same, but normally to a lesser degree. Well, I am here to tell you that this 20 Gauge stuff cures it all, and then some.
We did one other trial and that was with fish. Jerry Soucy advised that fish did not require nearly as long to prepare, in that the object was not to tenderize. He indicated the sauce would add a light delicate flavor, while removing any 'fishy' tastes. The fish we chose was the dense white flesh of halibut. Our halibut stocks were provided by one of our fishing friends who makes a trek to Alaska a few times a year. On the last trip, he took a charter boat out and returned with 300 pounds of fresh halibut fillets. After vacuum sealing and blast freezing at a local processing plant, the fish was air shipped directly to our freezer.
We marinated the halibut in "Myron's 20 Gauge" for about two hours and then cooked it 20 minutes on the gas grill. It was certainly good - very moist and flaky, with a background taste of brown sugar and soy. But, the best part came the next day!
After refrigeration overnight, the remaining halibut was noted to have darkened somewhat, as though it had been smoked. The taste also seemed to have a sweet, smoky taste. Personally, for me, it was much better cold than it had been right off the grill. But, yet, the best was STILL to come!!
I took about a quarter pound of the remaining cold halibut and mashed it up in a bowl. Then, I added two light shakes of Tabasco sauce (Cayenne pepper will also work), two teaspoons of straight "Myron's 20 Gauge" sauce, and two tablespoons of lemon juice. After mixing well, I tried it for taste. Great!!! I then added a half-cup of cream cheese and blended it in. What resulted was the absolute BEST fish dip I have ever had! When my wife, Dot, and I tried the mixture on crackers, it was completely gone in less than 3 minutes. Before you add the cream cheese, be sure to try the mixture. You may prefer it without the cheese (which is just to add body and improve spreading on crackers).
We later tried this same method with Steelhead fillets (see photo), with equally fantastic results.
You can bet Vhef Myron's great cooking aid is going to play a part in the upcoming 2nd publication of my cookbook, "The Hungry (but, lazy) Man's Recipe Book (and other assorted stuff)". I sure have some new recipes to add!!
I copied the following from Chef Myron Becker's web site and agree 100%. You will, too.
There's no wrong way to cook with MYRON'S 20 Gauge except cooking without it!
MYRON'S 20 GAUGE is a concentrated multi purpose "fusion" sauce with Asian roots and continental finish. It is a very versatile cooking sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, red wine, natural sweeteners, rice wine vinegar, olive oil and spices. It has the power to turn an old buck's shanks to silken tenderness and the subtlety to provide the perfect counterpoint to a delicate grilled salmon fillet. Try brushing it on wild mushrooms while you grill them! Developed by Chef Myron Becker, hunter, angler and chef of an annual 26-year-old gourmet wild fish & game feast. It is by far the best sure-fire way to create gourmet meals from your game and fish. (Unquote)
NOTICE: Please be advised that this is an independent evaluation and not a paid advertisement (although we hope the 20 Gauge may become a supporter of our web site!). No compensation was received and Jim Porter Outdoor Adventures does not sell the product. A sample of "Myron's 20 Gauge" sauce was provided for the purpose of this evaluation.
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