Last Sunday we launched the Mandagery Creek Farm Kitchen with a ‘trial’ fun lunch for family and friends. Here are some pictures of the day, though please bear in mind that it’s not quite finished. We still have pictures to hang, light fittings to fit, a kitchen to finish a small-ish list of tweaks to implement before this coming Sunday.
The menu kicked off with venison and pistachio terrine topped with warm red currant compote (recipe below) then moved to bread-sauce flavoured potato gratin with prosciutto-wrapped venison fillet (recipe link here), salad and sourdough rolls. For pudding we had pear frangipane tart with homemade vanilla ice cream and then coffee with hazlenut meringues.
Once we established that the oven works (probably not smart to cook with gas for the first time when feeding a crowd - see our smiles of relief as we carved the meat!), and more importantly that the space worked too, it was a great way to spend Easter Sunday. The kids hung out down at the house while we had lunch, babysat by our lovely young neighbours, and then peace was shattered with their arrival, subsequent games of hide-and-seek-tip in the nearby deer yards and a few ‘pop-ins’ by other neighbours with bottles of wine.
For more information on upcoming lunches (we are holding them on the fourth Saturday of every month), please email me, email@example.com. Photos by me and my clever sister-in-law Penny.
Venison and pistachio terrine with red currant compote
This is a simple, easy terrine that makes a beautiful lunch when served with some crusty bread and this warm compote
450g venison mince
450g pork mince
2 tbsp juniper berries
1 tbsp pepper corns
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
100g shelled pistachio nuts, chopped in half
30 juniper berries, crushed
4 oz (110 g) shelled pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
2 tsp salt
200ml white wine
200g bacon, rind removed
For the compote:
1 cup fresh or frozen red currants
zest and juice ½ lemon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
½ level teaspoon hot Madras curry powder
150ml red wine
1 dessertspoon red wine vinegar
Preheat the oven to 150C. Grab a large bowl and place the venison and pork mince in there. Crush the juniper berries in a mortar and pestle and add them to the bowl. Then do the same with the peppercorns. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the bacon) and mix well. Line a loaf tin with the bacon and fill with the terrine mix, packing it down well. Cover the tin with a double layer of foil. Place a large roasting tray in the oven, put the terrine tin in that and then pour a kettle-full of boiling water around the terrine so it comes about half way up the sides. Cook for 1, 3/4 hours.
Remove from the oven and let sit until cool. Then sit a bunch of tinned tomatoes (or similar), or a brick if you have one handy, on top of the terrine, and place in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, slice thinly and place on a little piece of toast, spoon the warm compote on top.
Brutti ma buoni (hazlenut meringues)
I ate way more than my fair share of these little hazlenut meringues while living in their birthplace, Piedmont Italy. They are easy to make, last for up to a week when stored properly and seem to pair perfectly with a strong cup of coffee. Or, more traditionally with a pretty glass full of warm zabaglione.
400g hazlenuts (we use and love hazlenuts from Fourjay Farms)
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla paste
Preheat oven to 180C. Roast the hazlenuts in one layer until just becoming fragrant. Rub them in a tea towel to remove most of the skins and then blitz in a food processor until you have a beautiful soft hazlenut meal. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, add the sugar a little at a time and then stir through the hazlenut meal, caster sugar and vanilla.
Place the mixture in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and gently stir for about 10 minutes. The purpose of this exercise isn’t really to cook the meringue further but to ‘dry’ it out a little. Let cool and then spoon in teaspoons onto baking trays lined with paper. Cook for 20 minutes or until hard and just beginning to colour.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.