In all honesty, I set off to buy two duck breasts for this recipe. Late in the day, I was unable to find any duck, so had to settle for two venison steaks that I had spotted were on offer.
Not the worst substitute in the world.
Venison has much more of an intense flavour and colour than beef. It’s also great in a casserole…
I decided to have my venison with potato and leek rosti and a buttery mushroom sauce.
Two sides that go superbly with red meat and that are easy to make.
What you’ll need:
15g of dried porcini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, fresh parsley, 1/2 a white onion, 125g of butter, 3 tbsp crème fraîche.
3 baby leeks, 1 small clove of garlic, 1 large potato, 1 egg, flour, fresh chives
2 venison steaks.
First things first, put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and fill to the top with just-boiled water. I would say use between 15-20g of them (I bought a 25g bag).
Finely dice the baby leeks and half the onion. Add the leeks and the crushed small garlic clove to a frying pan with a little oil. Heat on medium-low.
At the same time, melt the butter in a pan. Then add the onions on a medium heat. Season well. Careful not to burn the butter.
Now you can peel your potato and chop into 4 even pieces. Add the pieces to a bowl with a splash of boiling water, cover with clingfilm.
Pierce the top a few times and leave in the microwave for 4 and 1/2 minutes on high.
Take the leeks off the heat once they are soft and set to one side.
Keep stirring the butter and onions and turn to medium-low heat.
Once the potato has cooled you can begin to grate it into a bowl. Use the grater side with the biggest holes.
Season, then add the egg, leek and garlic, a small handful of chives, and a heaped tablespoon of flour. Mix gently so not to mush the potato up too much, you still want the grated texture.
Check on the butter and onions…
Make two rosti out of the potato mix. Place on baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
Put under a hot grill in the middle of the oven and shut the oven door. These are going to need around 15 minutes, turning them half way through.
Strain your porcini mushrooms and add the stock to the butter and onions, along with a handful of the chopped parsley. Turn the heat to very high and begin to reduce, stirring occasionally.
Season your venison well and rub with olive oil.
This is when I added the steaks to a hot griddle pan (because you’ll need at least 5 minutes to let it rest at the end) but each person enjoys their red meat done differently so I’ll leave that up to you.
After 7 or so minutes have passed, you can chop 2 big shiitake mushrooms and add them to the pan. Keep reducing.
Don’t forget to to turn your rosti…
After another 3 minutes, the sauce should have reduced by more than two thirds. Season well.
Stir in the crème fraîche. Keep on a medium heat until your happy with the consistency, stirring often.
Check on the rosti. They should be looking golden brown and smelling very decent. Remove from the oven when you’re happy with them.
Let your steak rest for at least 5 minutes.
Slice and serve with the rosti and mushroom sauce.
Steam some kale and spinach while it’s resting if you fancy…