Seasonal treat- Venison!
Amazing venison is in season from About November till March. It is lean and tasty and everso nice!
It is a seasonal treat and should be enjoyed.
Use it in the same way you would beef.
Healthy and filling it is a great meat option. Also a lot of UK venison will be wild, which for me is great. If venison is farmed is is outside and is not intensively farmed, so your concious will enjoy venison as well as your tummy.
Two of venison’s best friends are chilli and chocolate.
I love a recipe that calls for a spicy bite and a smooth chocolate note. Don’t overpower with either as venison is a delicate flavoured meat.
Venison Stew with chilli and chocolate.
X 100g of stewing venison per person
x 4 rashers of back bacon ( smoked ids nice)
x 3 onions chopped
x 4 sticks of celery
x 3 carrots
x 2 bay leaves
x sprigs of seasonal herbs
x 1 glass of red wine
x splash of brandy
x 1 chopped chilli
x approx 400 mls water
x flour for dusting
x 100 g good quality dark chocolate- I used Valrhona Manjari. This dark chocolate has red berry notes and goes very well with savoury dishes. The red berry notes work perfectly with savoury food and with the venison.
Turn the oven of to 200c
Firstly chop all the veg and place in a casserole bowl, add the seasoning and chilli, and the water.
In a hot trying pan add a touch of oil and add the bacon, dust the venison in a bowl with the flour and place in with the bacon, cook both until nicely browned then transfer to the casserole dish with all the rest.
De glaze ( a posh way of saying get all the flavour from the frying pan) the frying pan with the brandy and red wine, let them bubble for a moment then pout into the casserole dish.
pop the lid on and cook for an hour at 200 then turn down to 150 for a further 30 minutes.
For the final 30 minutes take off the lid and cook.
During the last 5 minutes add the chocolate and stir through. the stew should be saucy but thick and dark in colour. if its too dry add a splash of boiling water.
Serve straight from the casserole dish. I love it with fresh parsley sprinkled on top and served with mustard mash.
Mashed Potato… is there anything better in life?!
I love mashed potato! its creamy, its hot, its comforting and delicious. My mums is some of the best in the world and it will always be a firm favourite.
It is also incredibly versatile!. Mash is a great carrier for other flavours.
with all things keep it simple and stick to 1 or 2 flavour additions. Great examples are
Mashed potato (as is)
x 2-4 large white potatoes (maris pipers are some of the best to use)
x a knob of butter
x 50ml of milk/cream for extra yummy naughty potatoes
Boil the peeled and chopped potatoes until a knife cuts with no resistance.
Drain fully, put back into the pan off the heat and mash/rice/bash/fork, however you like them done, no way is wrong, until smooth.
add the butter and milk and season to taste, mix well until smooth and creamy.
Mustard – add grain or dijon, 1-2 teaspoons
Garlic – add 1 clove crushed and puréed with salt against a chopping board.
Horseradish – add a 1 inch piece of chopped horseradish to the mash
Cheese- add a handful of grated cheese- gruyer or brie are my favourites
Herby – add any seasonal herbs, fresh and mixed in at the end, love chives and parsley
Chilli – add a teaspoon of flaked chilli
Wasabi- add a teaspoon of wasabi paste
Spiced – add 1/2 of teaspoon of cumin seeds and turmeric
The flavours are endless and you can match them with the rest of the dish, for example I would do a dill mash with a fish dish, yummy!
Also sweet potatoes and other vegetables mash very well too, such as carrots, swede, turnips, squash, parsnips and peas are fantastic as mashes.