karohemd: (Chef)
When I visit my parents I usually enjoy my mother's cooking but I also pick a day when I cook something. This year my parents again sourced a lovely saddle of roe deer from a family friend who used to be the local gamekeeper and still has connections.
I knew that my parents would still have some dried foraged ceps (this year was too dry but there were plenty the year before) so a risotto sounded like the perfect accompaniment with sprout leaves on the side:

Loin of roe deer, cep risotto, sprout leaves

The day before, I removed the loins from the bone and trimmed off all the sinew and fat and put the meat back in the fridge. Then I chopped the bone into chunks and roasted it with some veg (celeriac, carrots, onion) in a hot oven until nicely browned. That, the offcuts, a sprig each of rosemary and thyme, a few juniper and allspice berries and about a litre of water became the stock for the risotto. Skimmed and strained it only needed to be reheated the next day.

The next day, I made a basic white risotto by gently sweating off a finely chopped shallot and garlic clove in a mix of olive oil and butter, adding the rice, stirring until coated, a generous glug of white wine, stirring until absorbed, added the reconstituted and chopped ceps and added the stock (with the cep water added) ladle by ladle, stirring after each until the liquid was absorbed until the rice was done.

When the risotto was on its way, I rubbed the loin (cut into pieces that would fit the pan) with rapeseed oil and seared it in a hot pan and then transferred them to an 80 degrees oven to finish.

The sprout leaves (mum was my commis and helped pick them) were just quickly blanched in salted water and refreshed in ice water to be finished later.

When the meat was done to my liking, I removed it and let it rest. In the pan I seared the meat in, I melted a generous piece of butter, seasoned it with salt, white pepper, a twig of thyme and rosemary, crushed juniper berries and ground allspice and basted the loin with it before carving. I removed the whole spices and herbs from the butter and tossed the sprout leaves in the pan to warm through. The risotto was finished with a handful of parmesan and a knob of butter which gave it a nice shine.

All that remained was plating up and dig in. The meat was so buttery soft it almost melted in the mouth and - if I may say so myself - up there with any I recently had at fine restaurants. The risotto had just enough ceps in it to flavour it and not overpower the meat. The sprout leaves were nice, too.

Needless to say, I was very happy with that dish.

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September 2017

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