Friday, May 17, 2013
Venison and Beet Salad
It’s always a pleasure when you’re presented with a little wild fare, such as the beautiful venison filet the other half (now wife) came home with after a laborious day up in Masterton working on the farm. Equally as pleasurable is when a plan comes straight to mind what to do with such a tasty piece of meat. I set about making room in the fridge so the fillet could have a little room to age and dry a little. It was sliced in equal halves and one went straight in the fridge for a few days, and the other ended up in a bag with 1% salt (by weight), brown sugar, thyme, and juniper, to cure for 24 hours or so before being patted dry and joining its uncovered other half to dry and age a little, they ended up in the fridge for about six days.
The fillets were taken out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking, and a pan put on a high heat, with what one could describe as a f*#k tonne of butter, because butter makes the world better. When the butter had finally calmed down, stopped foaming and spitting, the uncured portion went in the pan, seared golden brown, rolled around in it’s butter bath, then the cured portion went in about half way before the other piece was cooked and bathed in buttery goodness, in total they got about 6 and 4 minutes in the pan respectively, which resulted a perfectly rare temp.
As the meat was put aside to rest, a handful of diced shallots and thyme were liberally tossed into the pan to soften and perfume the butter before a splash of red wine and stock, we’re talking about equal parts butter, stock, wine, so quite good for you and your arteries, and especially your taste buds. It was left to reduce to a thick rich syrup and finally sieved.
A simple salad of roasted beets, toasted hazelnuts, ewe cheese and rocket tossed in a little olive oil was the perfect partner for the oh so rich gamey meat, with the two distinct textures and flavours of the cured (left) and uncured (right), and not forgetting the ever so rich pan glaze that brought everything together. Now I just need to get my hands on more of the venison goodness!