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Saturday, 2 February 2008

Pan-roasted Venison with Creamy Baked Potato and Celeriac

Celeriac is something I'd always wanted to try, and as it's in season at the moment, one of the knobbly roots fell into my shopping basket, this week.
To be sure that I gave it the right treatment, I consulted my cookbooks for some professional advice, and Jamie Oliver's new book, Jamie at Home – Cook Your Way to the Good Life, offered something appealing. I already had some venison in the freezer, from a previous bargain buy, and it gave me the chance to use some fresh-picked rosemary and sage from the garden.

The recipe proved to be a success, was easy to follow and produced a fantastic meal.

Well that's enough of me . . . over to you, Jamie!

Venison is a fantastic lean dark meat. You can swap the celeriac for parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes or even fennel, but you must keep the ratio of potatoes in there so it tastes delish.

Serves 4

Ingredients
50g butter, melted, plus a couple of extra knobs
1kg potatoes peeled
1 small celeriac, peeled and halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500ml double cream
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
half a small bunch of fresh sage, leaves picked and roughly chopped
100g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
10 juniper berries, crush with the side of a knife
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
1kg venison loin in one fat piece, trimmed
olive oil
1 bulb garlic, unpeeled and smashed, papery skin removed
a wineglass of good-quality red wine, like Pinot Noir

Method
Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4 and butter a large shallow baking dish. Slice the potatoes and celeriac into discs just under 0.5cm thick. Place the slices into a large pan, cover with cold water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain in a colander and allow the veg to steam dry for a minute or so. Put back into the pan with the cream, chopped garlic, sage, half the Parmesan and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together, then tip into the buttered baking dish and spread out evenly. Pour any mixture left in the pan over the top. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan, cover tightly with tinfoil and cook in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown.

Chop your juniper berries and rosemary, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then sprinkle over a board. Rub the venison all over with olive oil before rolling it across the board and pressing it into the flavourings. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat and add a glug of olive oil. Sear the venison for a couple of minutes on all sides. then remove the pan from the heat. Add the smashed garlic bulb and any left over flavourings from the chopping board. Shake everything together, pour in a splash of water to cool things down and place in the oven. Cook according to your liking.

When the potatoes are cooked, take them out of the oven, remove the tinfoil and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan. Return the dish to the oven, uncovered and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until bubbling and golden.

Take the venison out of the oven and let it rest on a plate, covered loosely with foil. Pour away any excess fat. Squash the garlic cloves with a form and discard the skins. Mix the garlic with the herbs in the pan and place on the heat. Pour in the red wine, simmer until it has reduced by half and then add the butter. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up all the sticky meaty goodness from the bottom. As soon as the sauce comes together, take the pan off the heat, correct the seasoning and stir in another knob of butter. Carve the venison into 1cm thick slices. Pour any resting juices from the plate back into the pan, then pour your gravy through a sieve over the meat and serve with the potato and celeriac bake.
Photos taken from the book

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2 comments:

razorbryce123 said...

is the mistake that he says sprinkle the remaining parmasan twice. i supose it would leave you some parmasan short if you only have the correct amount but only a minor mistake i hopr that is it because i am making this dish tomoro. With my own edge on it of course

Cheeky Spouse said...

Well spotted! You're right.
I hope you enjoy making and eating this dish - it is very good.

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