Cooking with Andy McLeish
PUBLISHED: 17:48 28 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:48 28 June 2014
The chef patron at Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One in Locksbottom shares his favourite way to cook venison
Meet Andy McLeish
I’m Andy McLeish, chef patron at Michelin-starred restaurant Chapter One in Locksbottom.
During my career I have been fortunate enough to work in some of the best kitchens around the world. I’ve headed up Chapter One for 14 years now and was initially attracted to Kent because of the outstanding produce it has to offer.
Without question, the county is home to some of the finest food in the UK. Sometimes I truly feel like a kid in a sweetshop there’s so much choice, from great apple orchards in Shoreham to Kent’s fishing ports and the Kentish cobnut that you can pick yourself in the early autumn months. It really can’t get any better.
July’s foodie highlights
I absolutely love this time of year. We are fast approaching British deer season where we can cull Fallow, Sika and Red deer. During August and September, I spend a lot of time hunting for meat to serve in my restaurant. However, if time doesn’t allow, I rely on Chart Farm in Seal, as they have some of the best venison I’ve tasted.
I’m a firm believer that happy animals produce great quality meat. Therefore, for me to work with a supplier I need to be sure that quality and animal welfare is of the highest standard.
At Chart Farm the deer have no interaction with humans, they roam free within the 350-acre estate. They are all killed humanely with a single head shot and it’s for this reason the venison is so tender and has great flavour.
It’s important as a chef to know and trust our suppliers. I have known Clause and his son Sebastian for many years now. I trust their judgement and also follow their advice. In turn I believe I get the best meat for my restaurant.
Over the next 12 months in my column, I will share with you all the fantastic food that is available in the Kent area as well as my simple, seasonal recipes. This month’s is one of my favourites. Enjoy!
Roast loin of venison with butternut, girolles and roast travise
800g of venison loin approx (200g per person)
1 butternut pumpkin peeled halved and deseeded
200g Girolle mushrooms
50ml chicken stock
Small amount of chopped parsley
Cut the venison loin into four equal pieces. Next, cut 12 thick equal pieces from the butternut, reserving the trimmings for your purée. Wash the girolle mushrooms by submerging in a bowl of water briefly and drain well. Cut the root end off the Travise so it falls apart into individual leaves and take twelve of the nicest leaves.
For the butternut purée
● Using the trimmings of the butternut, gently cook in a pan with a little butter, being careful not to let it colour. When the butternut is soft, add the mix to a food blender and puree until silky smooth.
● Using a large, pre-heated pan add a little butter and olive oil. Season the venison with salt and pepper, place in the pan and colour on all sides. This will take about four to five minutes. Make sure you turn the venison continuously and do not overcook it, as the meat will dry out. You should be aiming for a nice pink colour. When this is done, leave to rest in a warm place above an oven or under a cloth.
● Using the same pan, add a little oil and colour the butternut pieces, then reduce the heat slightly and add a tiny amount of chicken stock and cook until almost soft. Add the washed girolles, increasing the heat. Cook for one minute tossing the pan two to three times. Then add the Travise leaves and keep on the heat for a further minute until the Travise becomes limp and wilted. Add a squeeze of lemon, a further knob of butter and the chopped parsley and finally season.
To serve, arrange on a plate with pieces of butternut, Travise, girolles and venison with small amounts of butternut purée in between to make a rustic but attractive-looking dish. Finish with a small amount of the cooking juice and rock salt.
FIND OUT MORE
Chapter One, Farnborough Common, Locksbottom BR6 8NF
01689 854848 or visit www.chapteronerestaurant.co.uk
Follow Andy on Twitter: @andy23471