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Monday, 20 December 2010

Venison fillet with Mushroom & Onion Gravy

I love game and its rich flavour, which works so well with the root vegetables winter offers to us. This venison fillet was the star of a celebratory pre-Christmas meal for my boyfriend and I.  In the midst of the travel disruptions and flight cancellation frenzy that is affecting me directly, I have decided to make the most of my extra time in the UK and at least get a nice meal out of it :-)

INGREDIENTS (serves 2 people)
This recipe has been inspired by Jamie "the living legend" Oliver's 30 minutes meal "quick roast beef fillet". Rest assured that it works a treat with venison, too!;-)

For the meat
  • Venison fillet (i.e. loin)
  • 5 leaves of fresh sage
  • A large sprig of rosemary (leaves only)
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil 
For the gravy
  • One red onion, finely sliced
  • 250 gr of chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 300 ml of chicken stock
  • Half a glass of red wine
  • One tablespoon of plain flour
On a clean chopping board, chop the sage and rosemary leaves very finely and scatter them so that they cover the whole surface. Sprinkle with abundant black pepper.
 Lightly rub your venison fillet with olive oil, then roll it on to the chopped herbs and cracked pepper, so that its surface is completely coated with the seasoning.
Place a frying pan on the hob and heat it well. It is important that you get it nice and hot otherwise your meat will not sear, it will boil in its own juices. Transfer the fillet in the pan and let it cook for about 4-5 minutes each side (searing the ends for about 2 minutes each). Please bear in mind that the cooking time depends on the size of your fillet and on how rare you like it. I cooked mine pink, as you can see from the first picture, and the one further down below. Once the meat is cooked, transfer it on a tray and wrap it up tightly in foil, in order to let it rest, and give you time to get on with your gravy.
In the same pan where you have cooked the meat, pour a little olive oil and the sliced onion, and let it soften on a gentle heat. When it is nearly done, add the mushrooms and turn the heat on a little, to caramelise the vegetables. Next, pour in the wine and give the alcohol 2-3 minutes to evaporate. Finally, pour in the chicken stock and stir in the flour, and let it bubble away gently until the sauce is reduced.

Slice up your venison fillet and serve it with the gravy poured on top, rosemary roast potatoes and parsnips, and glazed carrots.

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