Braised Venison with Autumn Roots and Chocolate Sauce
600g venison (diced leg/shoulder)
2 tbsp seasoned flour
6 tbsp olive oil
150g smoked bacon lardons
3 shallots, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
5 Chantenay carrots, quartered
3 medium turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
3 flat mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 heaped tbsp thyme
1 heaped tbsp rosemary, chopped
2 bay leaves
700ml red wine
300ml beef stock
30g Menier dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 heaped tbsp redcurrant jelly
1 tsp salt
Large pinch pepper
Serves 2 – 4
Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
Pour half of the olive oil into a large ovenproof casserole dish and heat over a medium heat. Add the lardons of bacon and cook for 4-5 minutes or until crisp and slightly browned, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Put the diced venison in to a bowl with the seasoned flour and toss well. Ensure all of the meat is well coated and shake off the excess flour. Put the casserole dish back over a medium heat. Once hot (you may need to add a little more oil at this point), add the venison in batches and cook until the meat is browned on all sides. Remove from the casserole dish and set aside with the bacon.
Add the rest of the olive oil to the casserole dish and heat over a medium heat, then add the garlic, shallots and celery and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the carrots, turnip, mushrooms and herbs and cook for about 10 minutes on a low–medium heat or until the vegetables and shallots are slightly browned. Stir frequently.
Return the venison and bacon to the casserole dish and stir gently. Add the red wine and bring to the boil, then add the beef stock and season with the salt and pepper. Bring back to the boil, then cover with a tight fitting lid and transfer to the pre-heated oven. Cook for about 1½ - 1¾ hours, or until the meat is tender.
Once the meat is tender, remove from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables though a large sieve, retaining the liquid. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring back to the boil. Place the venison and the vegetables back into the casserole dish and cover to keep warm.
Once the liquid is boiling, whisk in the redcurrant jelly and re-heat gently. Lower the heat and whisk in the butter and the chocolate. Add small amounts gradually to ensure the chocolate does not split and go grainy. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Pour the sauce over the venison and vegetables and stir well.
Serve with creamed celeriac and steamed greens.
Pain au Chocolat and Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding
4 large or 6 small pain au chocolat, cut into 2 ½ cm slices
5 tbsp orange marmalade
290ml full fat milk
290ml double cream
1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthways
4 egg yolks
100g Menier milk chocolate, grated
125g golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
Lightly butter a large ovenproof baking dish and arrange the sliced pain au chocolat in the dish, overlapping each slice. When you have covered the bottom of the dish, spread 2½ tbsp of orange marmalade evenly over the slices. For the second layer, arrange the rest of the pre-sliced pain au chocolat on top, again over-lapping each slice. Spoon the rest of the orange marmalade over these and spread evenly, then set aside.
Place the milk, cream, vanilla bean and orange zest into a medium saucepan and cook on a low heat until it is just about to boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse.
Place the egg yolks and sugar into a large mixing bowl and whisk together until light in colour and texture, then pour the warm milk and cream into the whisked eggs and sugar, and whisk again until combined. Whisk in 80g of the chocolate.
Pour the egg mixture evenly over the pain au chocolat and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the pain au chocolat to absorb the liquid.
Scatter the remaining grated chocolate over the top. Place the dish into a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake the pudding for about 40 minutes, or until the custard is set and the top is nicely crisp and golden brown.
Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Serve with ice cream or pouring cream.