Foodstyle Review Magazine


Venison pasta

Using top quality prime meat cuts, in this case venison medallions (but any prime cut works), this is a straight forward recipe. The hard yards go into making the flavoursome sauce.

The meat
For the venison we have used Silver Fern Farms venison medallions (or steaks are just as good), but any prime meat cut will do.

The sauce
The ingredients and technique for this stock/red wine based reduction sauce are European traditional, and complement any prime meat recipe. The difference is the addition of tamarind – the fruit pod of a tree native to northern Africa and widely grown in South East Asia – which has a sweet and sour flavour.

Sauce ingredients
Pancetta or bacon chunks (optional)
3 cups beef stock
Half bottle of red wine (your choice)
1 can tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp tamarind paste (if you use tamarind chutney then drop the sugar)
1 small red chilli – diced
2 garlic cloves – diced
1 red onion – diced
2 carrots – diced
Leaves of 1 sprig of thyme
Freshly cracked pepper
Lemon rind
Half can of anchovies
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp oil

Cook the bacon/pancetta in the oil. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until translucent. Add carrot and celery.

Add wine and stock and the rest of the sauce ingredients.

Simmer on low heat for two hours. Strain mixture through a large sieve into a bowl and push a certain amount of solids through the sieve with the back of a spoon. Scrap residue off bottom of sieve and add to liquid – this will thicken it slightly, but the idea is to produce a reasonably runny sauce. Place saucepan back on the stove and simmer another 15 minutes.

The venison
Cook the venison medallions/steaks as per the instructions on the back of the packet – a reasonably hot skillet and three minutes each side (for medium rare). If the medallions are thick, also press the 'sides' down into the pan to brown.

Rest for five minutes (total cooking time – eight minutes).

The pasta
Per serving: 1 cup of dried or fresh ribbon pasta, 3 cups of boiling salted water.

When soft, drain and toss ribbon pasta in 1 tbsp of pasta water and 1 tbsp of garlic butter (I tbsp of clarified butter and 1 tsp of roasted garlic pulp). Save a little of the garlic butter for cooking the spinach.

The spinach
Slice washed spinach leaves into thick ribbons about the same size as the pasta strips. Heat up a little of the garlic butter in a pan and add spinach and toss. The leaves will wilt quickly – remove from the pan while they still look green.

To serve, load pasta into an individual plate and twist with a fork to form a 'nest'. 

Place a dollop of buttered spinach in the middle.

Cut venison medallions/steaks into three strips and arrange on top.

Coat the meat and pasta in the hot sauce.


Winter 2016

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