Venison Sausages in a Shallot, Wild Mushroom & Red Wine Sauce

If you have never tried our venison sausages, this recipe is a good way to start. They are acknowledged as some of the best and this is a marvellous way of cooking them.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb + Venison sausages (ours are usually just over 1lb per pack)
  • 8 oz finely diced streaky bacon or pancetta if you prefer
  • 6 peeled shallots
  • 1 jar of mixed wild mushrooms (fresh are perhaps better but much more expensive, and you can always use ordinary mushrooms)
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • ¾ bottle of red wine
  • ½ pint game or chicken stock
  • 8oz Crème Fraîche
  • 2oz butter
  • chopped thyme
  • chopped parsley
  • 10 juniper berries
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Take a heavy casserole and brown the sausages all over in a little olive oil.
  2. Remove the sausages from the pan and fry your bacon, garlic and mushrooms, sprinkled with parsley.
  3. For the sauce, put the shallots and red wine in a saucepan and reduce over a low heat until there is only about two to three inches remaining.
  4. Add the juniper berries, stock and the Crème Fraîche and reduce again for a further 7 or 8 minutes.
  5. Add the partly cooked sausages, the bacon, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, strain the sauce through a sieve, allowing the liquid to run into a heavy saucepan, placing the sausages and other things back in the original pan.
  7. Place the sauce back on a low heat.
  8. Cut the butter into knobs and add, whisking as you go with a hand whisk.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. The resulting sauce will be a pretty plum colour and taste divine!
  11. Pour back over the sausages, sprinkle with chopped parsley and a little thyme and serve with creamy mashed potato and crusty bread to wipe up any extra sauce!

Venison Sausage Toad in the Hole

Serves as many you care to share with.

Ingredients

  • 4oz plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ pint milk
  • salt & pepper

Method

  1. Combine the milk and the flour to make a smooth paste.
  2. Gradually beat in the milk, adding salt & pepper.
  3. Leave to stand in the fridge for an hour or so.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  5. Put the sausages in a deepish roasting tin or oven dish with a little oil or dripping.
  6. Cook them for 10 minutes.
  7. Increase the heat to 200 °C.
  8. Take the batter out of the fridge and beat it thoroughly again to make it light and airy.
  9. Pour over the hot sausages and return to the oven for around 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Tempura Vegetables

A very easy and very delicious way of presenting vegetables.

Serves about 50 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg yolk or 2 small
  • 12 fl oz or 340 ml iced water
  • 8 oz 225 g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • Vegetables such as courgettes, mushrooms, cauliflower, asparagus, or peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces.

Method

  1. Combine ingredients and mix well. It should not be smooth.
  2. Use batter almost straight away.
  3. Dip the vegetable pieces one at a time, in the batter and shallow fry in clean oil.
  4. Place on kitchen towel to dry after cooking. It is a very “thin” batter, and the vegetable’s colour will show through after cooking.
  5. They can be used as a vegetable or as nibbles.
  6. This batter is equally good for things like prawns.

Spanish Croquetas

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ a small leek, finely sliced
  • 70g Iberico or Serrano ham, diced very small
  • 60g plain flour
  • 75ml stock
  • 325 ml whole milk
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • 75g plain flour
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 75g dried breadcrumbs

Method

  1. Sauté the leek until soft.
  2. Stir in the ham and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the 60g flour and fry for approximately 5 minutes until the mixture is golden but not burnt.
  4. Combine the milk and stock and heat until hot but not boiling.
  5. Season with a few scrapes of nutmeg.
  6. Add to the mixture a little at a time stirring constantly.
  7. Cook for around 10 minutes until well cooked.
  8. Add some pepper. The ham can be salty, so go carefully with the salt.
  9. The resulting béchamel should be really thick. Smooth it onto a baking tray and cool in the fridge for an hour or so.
  10. Form the mixture into small sausage shapes, approximately 3 cm in diameter and 4 cm long.
  11. Dust with flour, dip in the beaten egg and then coat with the breadcrumbs.
  12. Shallow or deep fry them in boiling oil and cook for 3 or 4 minutes until golden.
  13. Drain on kitchen paper on a warm dish in the oven.
  14. Allow to cool a little before eating, they get very hot! Serve with salad and crusty bread.

Smoked Haddock & Mushroom Mornay

This recipe is suitable for a starter. If you want to do this as a main course, the quantities will serve 4 people if you make it in one dish instead of 8 ramekins.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 large fillets Natural Smoked Haddock, weighing about 1½lbs
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 4oz butter
  • 8oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3oz breadcrumbs
  • coarsely ground black pepper

Method

  1. Pour the milk into a saucepan. Cut each fillet of haddock in two and put in the saucepan. Bring to the boil without actually allowing to boil.
  2. Drain the haddock from the milk, retaining it to make your sauce.
  3. Make a white sauce by melting half the butter in a non-stick saucepan, mixing two tablespoons of plain flour, and allowing to cook gently for a minute or two.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk in which your haddock was cooked.
  5. Put back on the heat, stirring constantly until you have a nice smooth sauce.
  6. Remove from the heat and put to one side.
  7. Put the other half of the butter in a saucepan, add the sliced mushrooms and cook gently for two or three minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, your fish should now be cool enough to flake and for you to remove the meat from any bones.
  9. Take 8 ramekin dishes, lightly butter the inside and place the chunks of fish in them, followed by the cooked mushrooms.
  10. Season with plenty of black pepper, (don’t add salt, they don’t need it), top up the dishes with the white sauce, sprinkle with a few breadcrumbs and place in a hot oven for six or seven minutes at 240°C / 475°F / Gas Mark 9. They should be bubbling by this time.
  11. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes so that your guests don’t burn themselves and serve with lots of crusty bread for mopping up every last bit!

Salad of Flaky Smoked Salmon & Avocado with a Pesto Vinaigrette

This makes a delicious starter which couldn’t be simpler.

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 packets of flaky smoked salmon
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 bags mixed leaves including some lamb’s lettuce and rocket, if you can get it
  • chopped parsley to garnish

Method

  1. Peel and slice the avocado, sprinkling with lemon juice so that it keeps its colour.
  2. Put in a large salad bowl with the salad leaves.
  3. For the Pesto vinaigrette add two teaspoons of good Pesto to one table spoon of sherry vinegar and three or four tablespoons of Extra Virgin olive oil.
  4. Do not pour the dressing over the salad until immediately before serving, or your nice crisp salad will go soggy!
  5. When ready to serve, dress the salad with the pesto vinaigrette, stir well, and divide onto your eight plates.
  6. Flake the smoked salmon on top of the leaves and finally, season with salt (fleur de sel will make it even more delicious!) and freshly ground pepper.
  7. If you’re into coriander, a small amount of fresh coriander sprinkled on top is nice.

Porcini and Parma Ham Lasagne

This has to be one of the most delicious pasta dishes, made using four classic Italian ingredients: Pasta, Parma Ham, Porcini and Parmesan Reggiano – a very alliterative combination! You can eat this either as a starter or as a main course. It is very rich, so if you use it as a starter, you only need a smallish ramekin per person.

Serves 4 main course / 8 starter

Ingredients

  • 8 sheets of Lasagne Pasta
  • 60 grams plain flour
  • 150 grams butter
  • 1 litre milk
  • 450 grams fresh porcini (or 1 tin from Trencherman’s!)
  • 150 grams freshly grated Parmesan
  • 200 grams Parma Ham, sliced into juliennes
  • a good handful of freshly chopped parsley
  • Truffle oil
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan.
  2. Add the flour and blend, stirring all the time.
  3. Cook for a couple of minutes to cook the flour, still stirring.
  4. Remove from the heat.
  5. Bring the milk to near boiling.
  6. Place the butter and flour mixture back on a very gentle heat and add the milk a little at a time stirring constantly with a whisk. This will only take a couple of minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and set to one side.
  8. If you are using fresh Porcini (Cêpes), slice them into chunks and fry gently in olive oil. If you are using tinned Porcini, drain them and add to the béchamel.
  9. Cut the Parma Ham into juliennes and add them too. Sprinkle in the chopped Parsley and season with salt and pepper. Don’t add too much salt as the Parma Ham and the Parmesan both have a certain amount of salt in them.
  10. Bring the mixture to the boil and remove from the heat.
  11. Butter your dish or dishes, depending on whether you are using 8 ramekins or one dish.
  12. Place a layer of pasta on the bottom, cover with the mixture and generously sprinkle with Parmesan. Repeat this until your dish is full.
  13. Place a knob of butter on top of a ramekin dish or several knobs on top of a single dish. Pre-heat your oven to 425 F/220C/Gas 7 and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until bubbling and golden. Just before bringing it to the table, drizzle a little Truffle oil over the top for an extra subtle and delicious flavour.

Parmesan Nibbles

This is really simple, quick and scrumptious!

Serves as many as you can share about 24 with.

Ingredients

  • 125 grams grated Parmesan Reggiano
  • Pinch of Cayenne pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / Gas 4
  2. To make a couple of dozen, take the grated Parmesan and mix with a pinch of Cayenne pepper.
  3. Brush a non-stick baking tray (or you can use kitchen foil) with olive oil.
  4. Make 24 little mounds of the mixture, not too close to each other or they’ll all become one.
  5. Cook in oven for 7 or 8 minutes until golden brown.
  6. The little heaps will have turned into little biscuits. Remove them from the tray immediately, using a pallet knife, and place on a cake rack to cool.
  7. For a pretty curled effect, place over a rolling pin or some other such shaped object.