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Recipe of the month: Venison Wellington

PUBLISHED: 08:59 19 June 2015 | UPDATED: 08:59 19 June 2015

Venison Wellington

Venison Wellington

© Ming Tang-Evans

Andy, McLeish, Chef of the Year 2014, celebrates his favourite game season with a locally sourced venison classic

The official game season is fast approaching and it’s by far my favourite foodie season in the calendar.

As a chef there’s lots of fun to be had in the kitchen. I’ll be serving a special Grouse Tasting Menu at Chapter One 16-21 August), so keep an eye out for more details on our website.

Over the next few months, I’ve planned a number of hunting trips and most of my quarry will be served in Chapter One.

I like to have variety and planning on having partridge, grouse, pheasant, hare and of course venison on the menu. In recent years venison has become quite fashionable and now major supermarkets are even selling it.

I remember when just the mere mention of ‘venison’ would make people turn their nose up. Now we’re much more knowledgeable on the ageing process and the best ways to prepare the meat, which produces a more subtle taste than when it was previously aged for an excessive period of time.

Cooking venison is pretty simple – no cheffy tricks required. All I recommend is that you buy the best quality meat you can and there’ll be no need to dress it up with lots of ingredients, the meat will speak for itself.

While on the subject of quality meat, I’ll always head to Chart Farm in Seal for my venison, one of my favourite Kentish suppliers.

It’s local to Chapter One and the quality is second to none and in season you can find breeds of Sika, Fallow and they also have an exotic breed of Pere Davide. Divine.

This month’s recipe is a show stopper, it’s my Venison Wellington. It’ll certainly get you brownie points with your family and friends, it’s truly delicious.

Venison wellington

Serves four

600g Roe Venison loin cleaned with sinew removed

Seasoning

For the mushroom duxelle

250g button mushrooms

4 shallots (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (chopped)

100ml Madeira

4 tbsp double cream

For the pancakes

150g plain flour

2 eggs

140ml milk

To wrap the venison

6-8 leaves of large spinach

400g puff pastry

Egg glaze for pastry

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a one to two minutes to colour it on all sides, until it is cooked to rare. Remove from the pan and refrigerate.

Melt the butter in the same pan, chop the mushrooms finely and sauté until golden brown. Remove from the pan and put to one side. Then, add the shallots and chopped garlic to the pan.

Cook until soft, add the mushrooms again and cook quickly until no liquid is left. Add the 100ml Madeira and boil until reduced by half. Add cream then cook until the mixture is thick and beginning to darken. Season with salt and pepper and leave to one side.

To make the pancakes, whisk together the flour, whole eggs and milk to make a smooth batter. Heat a frying pan and add a drop of oil.

When the oil is hot, pour in a small amount of batter to cover the base with a very thin layer and cook until set. Turn over and cook the other side. Repeat the process again until mixture is finished keeping cooked pancakes to one side.

Quickly blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water and then cool in iced water. Dry the leaves well. Lay a sheet of cling film on a chopping board and put three pancakes overlapping on it. Lay the spinach on top in a single layer.

Spread the mushroom mix over the spinach and lay the venison on top. Roll the pancakes, spinach and mushroom mix around the venison. Wrap tightly in the cling film and leave to cool in the fridge preferably over night.

Roll out the puff pastry thinly (if it is ready rolled it will need to be rolled thinner still). Remove the venison and pancake layers from the cling film and lay on the pastry.

Brush the edges with the egg glaze and roll up, sealing the edges well. Brush the rest of the egg yolk glaze over the outside.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 ºC for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Place a thin metal skewer in the centre of the venison, it should be slightly warm (which means the internal temperature is about 49-52ºC)

Remove from the oven, rest for at least 10 minutes in a warm place, then slice and serve.

Next month: Andy cooks barbecue pork belly chops

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