Apologies for my recent absence! I haven’t been in the cooking spirit over the last few days, as I’ve been suffering with a sickness bug. I’m glad to report that I’m back to my usual, food-loving self and can now start to write up this huge backlog of recipes for you! I have so many to share with you, so I’d really better crack on.
I really enjoyed making this dish. Venison is such a rich and gamey meat, and needs to be cooked right. I enjoy mine cooked medium-rare in the form of a steak. I wanted to keep the sides simple for this dish, but opted for rich and earthy vegetables which compliment it so well, with the addition of a potato croquette for a little crunch. What can I say, I’ll always try to find space on the plate for a croquette….
handful of heritage carrots
1 x fresh beetroot
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
2 x 10oz venison steaks
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
350g mash potatoes (maris pipers work the best, with a knob of butter, splash of full fat milk and salt and pepper)
plain flour, to dust
1 x egg, beaten
120g panko breadcrumbs
sunflower oil, for deep frying (700-800ml should do the trick)
port and black garlic sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 x shallot, finely diced
3 x black garlic cloves, crushed
100ml hot beef stock
200ml red wine
1/2 a celeriac head, peeled and chopped
40ml double cream
salt and pepper, to taste
- prepare your vegetables. peel the carrots, leaving the stalk at the top – i love how rustic they look. my carrots were quite thick, so i chose to slice them in half lengthways. set aside in a small roasting dish and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and honey. peel the beetroot, and remove the stalk. using a mandolin, slice into thin discs and set aside in a separate dish to the carrots, with 1 tbsp olive oil. season both to taste.
- pre-heat your oven to 200ºc.
- next, form your potato croquettes. set out your flour, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls – this is your production line! roll your mash potato into balls (i aimed for the size of a golf balls), and in turn dip in the flour, then the egg, and finally coating entirely with breadcrumbs. once all potato balls have been coated, pop them in the fridge. the colder temp will not only help the frying process, but will also help them to keep their shape.
- when popping the croquettes in the fridge, remove your venison steaks. the texture is always better if they’ve been left out at room temperature for 45-60 minutes before cooking.
- it’s best to make the celeriac puree ahead of time, as you can always reheat to serve if too cool. pop the celeriac chunks in a saucepan and cover with water. boil until very soft. in a separate pan, heat the cream and butter until they reach a golden colour. keeping all ingredients warm, add to a blender and blitz until completely smooth. pass through a sieve if necessary. set aside until ready.
- make a start on your sauce, as it’ll need plenty of time to reduce. as you can see from the photo, it’s quite a thick and syrupy sauce due to the high wine content. heat the olive oil in a wideset saucepan over a medium temperature, and add the shallots and black garlic. fry until softened. crank the temperature up to high, and pour in the beef stock. leave this to reduce by approx. 50%. next, add both the wine and the port, and leave to reduce again by 50%.
- while your sauce is reducing, pop your carrots in the oven to roast. they should only take 30-40 minutes. after they’ve been in the oven for 15 minutes, start roasting the beetroot discs also.
- in a large saucepan, heat the sunflower oil for the croquettes to 180ºc.
- while the oil is heating, cook your steaks – they’ll need a few minutes resting time before serving. season the steaks. heat the olive oil in a griddle pan over a medium-high temperature, and add the steaks, searing all sides. to reach medium-rare, you’re probably looking at about 6-7 minutes in the pan. once cooked, set aside to rest.
- using a metal slotted spoon, drop the croquettes in the hot sunflower oil and fry until golden and crisp.
- to served – dish up the venison steak in the centre of plate on top of a bed of celeriac puree (remember to give this a blast of heat on the hob to warm it up). i then positioned the beetroot discs and potato croquettes around the plates, and topped with the carrots. finish with a drizzle of that syrup port sauce. delicious!