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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karohemd: (Chef)
This evening's dinner was mostly provided by friends. One had given me a slice off a leg of venison and two others had given me a cooking condiment collection from Hotel Chocolat which contained a savoury chocolate glaze.

Based on the structure of the meat, I cut the slice of leg into smaller portions, coated them in olive oil and seared the rather thin slices in a very hot pan, basted them with foaming butter towards the end, seasoned and set them on the side to rest. Then I deglazed the pan with red wine, seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme and added two spoons of the glaze mix to melt that in.

The meat was served on crushed baby potatoes, drizzled with the red wine/chocolate glaze, with creamed savoy cabbage on the side. A bit of an odd combination, I admit, but it's what I had on hand, I wasn't to go out and buy a head of red cabbage for one portion.
You can see in the photo how gooey that glaze was. Given more time (I was very hungry and just wanted to eat), you can turn this into something awesome. Also, it's probably rather easy to make yourself by just mixing grated dark chocolate with spices.

karohemd: (Chef)
I shared cooking duties with my mother today, I cooked the meat while Mum cooked the sides.

The loin was seared in a hot pan and then transferred to a 120°C oven to finish, seasoned with salt and pepper.
The sauce was made from a red wine reduction, pan juices and some stock made from the roasted bones and offcuts, seasoned with salt, pepper and allspice, finished with cold butter.
With it we served braised and creamed savoy cabbage and almond croquettes (not homemade but shop-bought frozen bake-in-the-oven ones). It looked like this:

karohemd: (Chef)
My original plan had just been the risotto but then I randomly spotted some nice looking venison yesterday so I bought it, venison and wild mushrooms being a match made in heaventhe forest, anyway.

Ingredients:
Venison steak
olive oil, salt, pepper

risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli are best)
vegetable stock (I made my own but feel free to buy ready made or even a cube), about two pints
half an onion (finely chopped)
dried wild mushrooms (porcini in my case; soaked in hot water)
butter, extra virgin olive oil
vermouth or white wine, salt, pepper, parmesan

Method:
For the risotto, heat the stock and keep it hot (just under a simmer). Sweat off the onions in a mix of butter and olive oil (or either, depending on the region of Italy, wars have been fought over this issue). When the onions are soft and translucent, add the rice and stir to coat evenly. Add a generous splash of vermouth or white wine and stir until absorbed. Now mix in the drained mushrooms (reserve the liquor, you can either add it to the stock or to the risotto directly at a later stage) and add the first ladle of stock. Turn the heat down to a slow simmer and stir until most of the stock is absorbed. Add another ladle of stock and so forth, until the rice is cooked but still has bite, stirring all the time, about 20 or 30 minutes. About five minutes before the end, season with salt and pepper. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat, stir in a generous handful of grated parmesan, put the lid on and let stand for a minute. This will make it extra creamy.

Meanwhile, fry the venison steaks to your preferred doneness and keep warm to rest.

Plate the risotto and set the sliced venison on top. I served it with a simple leaf salad.

February 2013

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