Wild Venison Wellington
Wild Venison Wellington (Australian Sambar Deer)
Hello lock down, you aren’t my friend, however we have been thrust into you again. Yes, that’s right folks. Now entering our fourth week of lockdown and it’s just like Groundhog Day. When this lockdown begun it seemed like a good opportunity to get on top of those jobs around the house that I’m sure we all have been thinking “we will get to that one day”. Well,those jobs are now done and apart from home schooling what does one do to keep themselves from going stir crazy? I for one have been spending some more time in the kitchen, making some dishes I wouldn’t usually have the time to knock out. One such dish I made last week, Venison wellington. Which was a slight twist on a classic.
I took the classic beef wellington and put a game twist on it by using some beautiful venison backstraps I was lucky enough to be given by a family member. He had harvested the deer from his last hunt 2 months ago. These beautiful backstraps were a vibrant red colour which you don’t see in store bought meat and were trimmed up perfectly. Next I seasoned them up lightly with some Maldon Sea salt flakes and freshly cracked black pepper, searing them on a high heat to get a nice brown colour all around the meat. Then I left them to rest as I turned my attention to make a mushroom duxelle. I finely chopped the mushrooms and sautéed them off to get rid of all the excess moisture.
Once well rested I took the venison backstraps and painted them in Dijon mustard (traditionally English mustard is used, but I prefer a milder mustard that won’t take away from the taste of the meat) and then rolled them in the duxelle and refrigerated. I know the purists will be saying well this isn’t a true wellington as its not wrapped in prosciutto or there is no crepe. And yes they would be right, but in saying that when haven’t we changed a recipe or left something out to make he dish the way we wanted it.
To finish off these bundles of joy and happiness I took some puff pastry and cut 2 sheets in half and created my parcels by using a egg wash to join the top and bottom pieces of pastry, and for that extra fancy WOW factor used a fork to seal the parcels. Brushed them with the egg wash and placed them back into the fridge until I was ready to cook them, when the boss arrived home from work.
Now I wouldn’t usually admit to this, but ah well what the hell. I made a rookie mistake and cooked the wellingtons without removing the plastic that was on the pastry, so please if you do want to try this at home, and I really hope you will try it please don’t make the same error.
I pulled the wellingtons out of the fridge half an hour before cooking to let them come to room temperature, but even still I cooked them on a lower heat for 10 minutes, then turned the heat up to get some nice colour on the pastry but still have the venison under medium. I served them with some sweet potato mash, sauteed green beans and port gravy. Absolute deliciousness.
So if your game and up for something different and either have some beautiful venison or can get your hands on some, try this twist on a classic. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed
Wild Venison Wellington
- 2 x venison backstraps cleaned
- 500g x button mushrooms
- 10g x Dijon mustard
- 5g x Maldon sea salt
- 5g x cracked black pepper
- 2 x sheets puff pastry
- 1 x egg
- 50ml x extra virgin olive oil
- Take venison and season with salt and pepper
- Heat a pan on high heat and add the oil, heat the oil
- Add seasoned venison and seal till browned all over, rest the meat
- Take mushrooms and chop finely (you can cheat and use a food processor for this step)
- Place mushrooms in a hot pan, season and cook down till there is no moisture left in them
- Take the rested backstraps and paint them all over with the mustard
- Roll the painted backstraps in the mushroom duxelle
- Cut the sheets of pastry in half
- Crack the egg into a bowl and paint the outer edge of the pastry with the egg
- Place the backstrap in the middle of the pastry and then cover with the other half of the pastry
- Using a folk, seal the pastry and brush the top with the remaining egg wash
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees
- Bake for 5 minutes
- Turn heat up to 180 degrees and bake till golden