It’s wet, cold and foggy here at Mandagery Creek HQ and we are spending the day doing NOTHING. Tim is good because for once he’s managed to watch a whole episode of Landline and I'm in my happy place because I have managed to spend a couple of hours quietly cooking for just us four. We did the markets in Sydney yesterday and returned with lots of beautiful produce plus a few unsold venison tenderloins so this was lunch today. And just to gild the lily, Tim and I shared a bottle of Philip Shaw pinot (because we're worth it).
Market vegetable and sorrel ‘gratin’ with Venison medallions
With its gentle flavours and textures, we think this deconstructed gratin is perfect with venison, but that said, it would also be delicious alongside some hot smoked trout or even a simply roasted chicken.
for the vegetables;
2 purple carrots, peeled and finely sliced
1 bunch baby beetroot, peeled and finely sliced
6 small new season potatoes; pink fir or chat would be good, scrubbed and peeled if you think it’s necessary (I don’t bother)
For the gratin;
2 cups sourdough breadcrumbs (very roughly chopped or processed)
25g butter, melted
For the sorrel sauce;
1 bunch bloody doc sorrel
1 tbsp plain flour
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup boiling water
1 bunch sorrel, stems removed and roughly shredded
2 tbsp lemon thyme leaves
For the vegetables, very lightly steam the carrots and beetroot and set aside. Place the potatoes in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook until tender. Drain and set aside. For the gratin, preheat the oven to 200C, then soak the breadcrumbs in the milk and butter for at least 10 minutes, and spread out on a baking tray and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden. Now to make the sauce; first boil the kettle then heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-high. Once melted and bubbling, add the flour and stir well, cook this for a minute or so, stirring regularly and then pour in the white wine and boiling water. Cook for a few minutes, whisking all the time until you have a nice thick sauce consistency. Pour in the cream and add the sorrel and thyme leaves. Whisk well and remove from heat.
For the venison;
1 x Mandagery Creek Venison tenderloin
1 tsbp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the olive oil in an oven-proof saucepan over high heat. Brown the tenderloin on both sides and then place in the oven for five minutes. Season to taste and allow to rest under a tent of foil for a few minutes.
To assemble; gently toss the vegetables together (be careful though as the carrots and beetroot are generous with their colour and can tint the whole dish pink if allowed to). Place these on a warmed serving platter, spoon over the sorrel sauce and top with the breadrcumbs.
Once the venison has rested, slice into medallions about 1 1/2 cm thick and place these next to the gratin on your serving platter. Serve immediately.
Steamed orange and jam pudding
150g softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups self raising flour
1 cup jam (I used plum because that's all we had but marmalade would also be great)
finely grated rind of one orange
For the syrupy oranges
1/2 orange, finely sliced
1/2 cup orange marmalade
First make the syrupy oranges by placing the slices in a saucepan just covered with water and simmering for a few minutes. Drain away the water, add the marmalade and another splash of water and cook for a few minutes more.
Generously butter a 2-litre capacity pudding bowl, preferably with a lid. Line the base of the pudding bowl with the syrupy oranges. Cream the butter and sugar together and once and light and fluffy, add the eggs once at a time, mixing well between each addition. Fold through the flour, jam, rind and milk and gently combine. Spoon mixture into the pudding bowl and either attach its lid or if it doesn't have one, tightly cover with foil and tie up with string. Pull out your biggest saucepan (also with a lid), place the pudding bowl in it's centre and then gently fill the saucepan with hot water (so it comes about 3/4 up the sides of the pudding). Set the stovetop to medium and steam the pudding for 1 1/2 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Invert the pudding onto a nice plate and serve with custard, cream, ice cream or yogurt.
This recipe was inspired by one given on page 124 of the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller. Incidentally it's a fantastic issue and full of beautiful recipes.