Venison Wellington with Caramelised Red Onion Gravy, Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms & Pancetta.

Venison Wellington with Caramelised Red Onion Gravy, Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms & Pancetta.The game season is upon us, for me this means venison is back on the dinner plate. Venison used to be a strictly seasonal, expensive meat however it is now more widely available, as it’s commonly farmed. Although still at the expensive end of the meat market; it’s lean, close-textured, dark, moist meat and distinct gamey flavour is truly worth every penny.

Venison is defined as ‘large antlered game’ (funnily enough my girlfriend also refers to me by this) and therefore, as well as deer, it includes elk, caribou, moose, antelope, bison, buffalo and me. Prime roasting joints tend to come from the leg (haunch), the loin and the saddle, while the fillet or boned loin provides steaks.

Now I have been up to lots over the last few months from designing insect based menus for the London public, to helping Andy Oliver out at his new pop- up event; which you will hear about in my blog’s ‘behind the whites’ section. The past month of neglect towards ‘Articuleat’ is to be swiftly resolved. I have some great winter recipes to get you down and dirty in the kitchen during the festive season.

Now, back to the recipe. Remember if you don’t have the time or the patience to make your own puff pastry (I don’t blame you) you can buy it frozen from any good supermarket. However if you do find the time to give it a whirl (well done you) then I’m sure you will absolutely love this dish. For me, there is nothing better than making something completely from scratch, once you conquer puff pastry – you can conquer anything. If it is your first time please do let me know how it goes, I would love to know.

Right so we have Venison wellington, a deliciously rich, gamey meat wrapped within a light, fluffy, buttery puff pastry – now what next? What’s our perfect accompaniment for this tasty dish?

Yep, I’ve got it, mushrooms!! But not just any mushrooms. For a dish with as much character as this you don’t want to dress it up in crap clothes. Girolles, the Levis of the mushroom world and shitake, the Gucci. Iron these up and put them on your wellington and I assure you, it will be turning heads left, right and center.

Now for the last element to complete this delicious winter warmer, a sauce. We have buttery pastry, gamey venison, salty mushrooms; I think a light and sweet caramelised red onion gravy should bring all those flavours together. Infuse this with some smoked pancetta and you would have to be some kind of weirdo not to be able to enjoy this dish (except of course for vegetarians).

Ingredients

(For the puff pastry, makes 1.2kg)

-500g, unsalted butter

-500g, strong white flour

-2tspn, salt

-150ml, cold water

-5 egg yolks

-3tspn, lemon juice

-flour, for rolling

(For the wellington)

-600g venison haunch, rolled into a large sausage shape using cling film

-puff pastry, enough to wrap venison

-2 egg yolks, whisked to attach pastry

-a little olive oil

-Malden salt and cracked black pepper

(For everything else)

-40g, girolles, cleaned with a brush and chopped into thick chunks

-40g, shitake, cleaned and chopped into thick chunks

-60g, diced smoked pancetta

-2 cloves, garlic, diced or crushed

-2 thinly sliced red onions

-300ml, beef stock

-50g, soft brown sugar

-2 heaped tbspn, redcurrant jelly

-20ml, balsamic vinegar

-olive oil for cooking

-20g unsalted butter

Method (Serves 2, with spare puff pastry)

  1. Firstly let’s get the hard bit out the way, the puff pastry. Now follow these instructions to the word and you shouldn’t have any issues, if you do please let me know. Puff pastry is a lengthy process but once made it can be frozen for future use; I assure you quality comes in making things from scratch. Begin by unwrapping the butter (be sure to keep the wrappers) and cut off 100g of butter to use in the dough. Place the remaining butter between the wrappers and hammer it with a rolling pin until it’s about 2cm thick, roughly the same size as the wrapper and malleable. Keep this cool and aim to have it cold but pliable for rolling, not too soft (I know this is tricky but it needs to be malleable enough to roll, whilst being cold enough not to melt into the pastry).Place the flour and salt in a bowl then get your hands stuck in to rub in the butter. Mix the water, yolks and juice, add this to the bowl and gently knead into a dough. Once complete, wrap it and chill in fridge for half an hour. Next lightly flour the worktop and roll the dough out to just under 1cm thick. Place the butter slab, unwrapped and pull the sides up and over it so they overlap in the middle, and seal them together with a little water. Then do the same with the other two sides – this will completely seal the butter within the dough like a wrapped Christmas present. Lastly hammer the dough out a little with the rolling pin and roll it into a rectangle just under 1cm thick. Brush off any excess flour, fold it in by thirds (like you would a blanket), then wrap it well and chill for an hour. Lastly roll and fold it in this way five more times, spaced at one hour long intervals, use as much flour as you need to stop the butter sticking, should it burst out – but make sure to brush it off the dough when making a blanket fold. Finally wrap the dough well and use immediately or freeze for when you need it. This recipe makes more than you need, if it takes this long why not?
  2. Now that the pastry is out the way, time for the wellington. Firstly heat the oven to 180C. Unwrap the venison and cover in olive oil, salt and pepper the fry in a dry pan on a high heat briefly to seal the meat (be sure to keep it raw in the center), remove from pan and chill for 30 minutes. Roll out enough puff pastry to wrap the meat into a rectangular shape then place the venison in the center, use a little flour on the worktop if necessary. Brush the egg around the edges of the pastry and the meat, and then tightly wrap it, making sure you seal the meat within the pastry, then leave to rest for 30 minutes. Lastly brush the pastry with egg yolk and sprinkle with salt and pepper, mark the wellington with diagonal knife lines taking care not to cut through the pastry. Cook until golden and crisp (around 20-25 minutes for medium rare) then remove rest and serve.
  3. Meanwhile make the sauce. Place the butter in a tray, then melt in the oven on 180C, once hot add the pancetta and roast for 15 minutes. Next add the mushrooms and continue to roast for a further 20 minutes. At the same time fry the garlic in hot oil until golden brown and fragrant, then add the red onion and sweat (around 5 minutes). Next add the soft brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook until melted and beginning to caramelise. When ready add the redcurrant jelly and beef stock and continue to simmer until a light pourable consistency. Once mushrooms and pancetta is ready finish the gravy by adding the roasting juices from the tray. Serve the wellington upon the mushrooms and pancetta with a friendly dose of the gravy and enjoy.

Venison Wellington with Caramelised Red Onion Gravy, Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms & Pancetta.

Thanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebby Holmes

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Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Barbecue is one of the most commonly eaten sauces on the planet! This is in no way true but hopefully it got your attention. Since my childhood I have always had an insatiable thirst for barbecue sauce; so I figured it’s time for it’s debut appearance within Articuleat’ s early posts, so this one’s  for those of you that share my love for this fabulous condiment.

There are as many ways to make barbecue sauce as there are recipes to cook using it, however after much (and much, much more) experimentation this is my favourite so far. I found that lots of people use tomato ketchup as a base for there sauce to give it the correct flavour balance and consistency. However, here at Articuleat that just won’t do – I created this recipe using Indonesian sweet soy sauce (known as kecap manis) as the base for my sauce. Kecap manis can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets.

For this recipe I have kept the barbeque sauce mild to not add any extra spice to the chestnut mushrooms. If you are into your heat however, do not be afraid to add a little chilli powder, or extra peppercorns to my recipe. The key to this sauce is in the balance; sweet, salty, sour and hot all play elements in making this sauce one to write home about.

The sticky and rich consistency is a perfect partner to some chestnut mushrooms lightly fried in herb oil. Despite this the BBQ season is upon us so why listen to me – why not marinate some meat in this sauce and throw it on the barbeque?

(serves 2, takes 1 hour)

Ingredients

(for the barbeque sauce)

-100ml, kecap manis, sweet soy (can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets)

-20ml, balsamic vinegar

-20ml, Worcestershire sauce

-60ml, light chicken stock

-1tsp, cumin seeds

1tsp, pink peppercorns

-1tsp, Chinese five spice

-1tsp, fennel seeds

-2 heaped tbsp, palm sugar, crushed (soft brown sugar will do)

-1 white onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

-1 whole red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

(for the herb spiced mushrooms)

-2, whole chicken breasts, boneless

-100g, chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced

-1 handful (roughly 70g), parsley, finely chopped

-100ml, olive oil

-1 whole red chilli, finely sliced

-1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  1. Firstly pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats lets get the barbeque sauce ready – begin by toasting the pink peppercorns, cumin and fennel seeds together in a dry pan. Keep these moving in a hot pan until you see a little smoke, then remove from the hot pan and spice grind to one powder (or use a pestle and mortar).
  2. Next fry the garlic, onion and red chilli in a pan with a little oil until golden brown and crispy (not burned or it will taste bitter). Once ready add the kecap manis, light chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and palm sugar (soft brown sugar) and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the spice grinded dried spices along with the Chinese five spice and whisk to combine, simmer to infuse for 2-3 minutes then remove and cool. Finish the sauce by combining to one smooth mixture in a food processor (should be a dark, smooth, rich pourable consistency)
  3. Now that the magic is ready get the hunters chicken in the oven. Using tin foil, individually coat each chicken breast in barbeque sauce and wrap tightly within the foil (if you have time marinate the meat in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight), then place on a tray and put on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Ensure that chicken is piping hot throughout before serving, to check poke the end of a spoon into the middle and leave for a few seconds, remove and place the spoon on your lip – if it hurts it’s ready (obviously be carful).
  4. Lastly let’s make the herb spiced mushrooms. Bring a little pan of water to the boil and drop in the chopped parsley for 20 seconds, remove and refresh under cold water. Dry using a tea towel then combine the oil, parsley, garlic and chilli in a food processor until mixture is combined (should be bright green). Once combined heat this herb oil on a medium heat until hot, then add the chestnut mushrooms making sure to coat all of them in the hot oil. Stir these regularly for 6-8 minutes until softened
    and cooked.
  5. Serve the hunters chicken upon the chestnut mushrooms and garnish with a little parsley if you’re looking to impress.

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut MushroomsThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes