Saturday, 28 November 2015

Venison strips with Tagliatelle

Here's an idea for an easy meal based on a very healthy meat - venison.

Venison, especially wild venison, is a very lean meat, and is also quite strong-tasting so you don't need so much of it, and therefore (weight for weight) it is probably better for you than beef. Even though venison is available all year round these days, I still think of it as being an Autumn meat, so my dish is intended to be appropriately seasonal.

This "recipe" is incredibly easy and involves very little advance preparation - which is unusual for me!

Venison strips with Tagliatelle, in a creamy mushroom sauce

Make the mushroom sauce
Peel and finely dice one large shallot. Chop some mushrooms into 1-inch pieces. Strip the leaves from 6 sprigs of fresh Thyme.

Gently sauté the shallot and mushrooms in a little vegetable oil and a knob of butter until they begin to take on a bit of colour. Add about 150ml of double cream (I used Elmlea cream-substitute, which is less inclined to split / curdle than real cream), and then the Thyme. Simmer gently for another minute or so, until the sauce is completely warmed through.

Cook the pasta
Follow the manufacturer's instructions! I used Tagliatelle made by Cook Italian, which needs 7 - 9  minutes of cooking time. Co-ordinate this with cooking the sauce and the vegetable(s).

Cook some vegetables
I used shredded Brussels Tops from my garden, complete with one or two tiny sprouts.

 All these needed was about two minutes' cooking in boiling salted water. Any green vegetable would do, e.g. kale, Cavolo Nero, cabbage, spinach, etc - or even a green salad.

Cook the venison
The meat should be sliced into very thin strips that will cook rapidly.

Venison needs to be cooked either long and slow, or very quickly, so that it doesn't go tough. I don't normally like rare meat, but I think venison is good this way. I stir-fried mine in a very hot wok, with a little vegetable oil, and it cooked in about one minute. Right at the end I added a splash of brandy just to give it a bit of zing, and a spoonful of homemade Hedgerow Jelly, which gives the meat a slight sweetness and a glossy sheen.

I made sure that everything else was ready before cooking the meat, because I wanted to serve it with the venison still piping hot. When plating-up, the pasta goes in first, then the mushroom sauce is poured / spooned over it; then the Brussels Tops are arranged off to one side, and finally the venison goes on top - then it's straight to the table. Service!!

I think this meal demonstrates that good food doesn't need to be complicated, or lengthy to prepare and cook. More to the point, it tasted great!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could use homemade pasta, foraged mushrooms, locally-shot wild venison and homegrown greens?


  1. Farmers Market venison although normally farmed is at least locally sourced. I get mine from a pig farm stall that also sells wild venison (also rabbit, partridge, pigeon etc) that is shot when it wanders onto their farmland. The wild venison always has a better flavour than the farmed. I have tried homemade pasta, but it's a long job & I'm happy to do as most Italians do and buy it (from an Italian shop of course). Foraged mushrooms are sometimes available in the Italian shop - at a price! The homegrown veg I can provide for myself.

    1. Same here! We love game and usually buy a fair bit to have in the freezer. That reminds me, we have a brace of Partridge to use... They are nice with home-grown Parsnips, which are probably ready now!

  2. As usual your plate looks good! I have only had wild venison but we tend to cook meat a littIe longer (than necessary) I think. I agree with the last line of your post...that would be ideal.

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We enjoy venison and recently added a lot to our freezer (very local, very wild). I'll have to give your recipe a try.

    1. I take this to mean that you shot the deer yourself?? (Or perhaps a family member did...)


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