Monday, May 27, 2013

Mains: Venison with Chocolate Sauce, Glazed carrots, Rosti

Okay, so I’m in need of catching up,  clearly. And I could give you all the reasons why I’ve not posted in a age but really, we know you’re just here for the food so we’ll press on.

Venison with chocolate sauce and beetroot puree. Glazed carrots.

So this main isn’t a Heston dish, but is a “on theme” dish from my Heston-inspired Old Fashioned Lolly Shop dinner. Though the carrots are a Heston recipe.

To recap we had:
Pre dinner drink
  • Mini Brandy Alexander. (Okay largely because they are my favourite cocktail.. but they are kind of spiced-chocolate flavour, so suitably on-theme!)
  • Roast venison with chocolate sauce and beetroot puree
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Potato Rosti
Lolly Shop Tasting Plate:
  • Strawberry sherbet and liquorice
  • Musk Lolly Ice-cream
  • Vanilla-Malteser Ice-cream balls
  • Apple Pie Caramels
  • Rosewater Marshmallows
  • Hot Chocolate


Mains: Roast venison with chocolate sauce and beetroot puree

This dish was excellent.  I’ve not cooked venison in an age and it’s really not a common meat here in Australia – there is only one venison farm in the state. (Any Americans I am sure are reading this with disbelief). So it’s a “special occasion” or restaurant food for most. That said, I really quite like it – I’m a fan of game meat in general. So what all this preamble means is the finding a recipe was easier said than done.

Thankfully SBS (our multicultural TV station) had an excellent recipe online.

So this has the following steps:

  1. Make the puree
  2. Prep and roast the venison
  3. Make the chocolate sauce
  4. Serve and make it look pretty.

Make the Puree

This is too easy. Peel your potato and beetroot.
Boil until very soft
Puree in your food processor until they look awesomely red and ruby like.
Mix in some cream, add a little salt & set aside for plating.

Roasting venison
I had a loin. It was awesome. (I am so lucky to be friends with an ex-chef with food contacts!)
You take the oven proof pan and brown the meat in a mix of oil and butter.
Into a hot oven while you prep the veg.
Then out and resting, while you make the chocolate sauce.

Chocolate sauce

This surprises those who’ve not had it before, as they are expecting a sweet sauce, which it isn’t really. Slightly sweet, but not milk-chocolate sweet. What it is though, is delicious.

So, you melt the chocolate.
Then deglaze your pans with your dessert wine/etc. The recipe calls for Banyuls or Mederia. I used sherry. (I couldn't justify yet another bottle of booze for a single meal).
Reduce the liquid by half,  then add it to the melted chocolate and mix well. Excuse the poor pic - I was concentrating!
Get ready to plate up!

I also made some potato rosti (using this recipe) earlier (making individual serves) and then reheated them before serving. These worked a treat.


So I was pretty happy with how it all turned out. The venison was more rare than some of the guests preferred, but I just adjusted who got the end piece. (I thought it was perfect.)
The chocolate sauce went very well and the beetroot puree gave a different flavour and richness that beautifully contrasted with the venison.
As for those carrots (which I’ve done before (here & here ) and the asparagus…

I would not be able to eat like this always, but the butter-cooked varieties make the lighted steamed versions I normally served taste so bland in comparison! Definitely a dinner party staple I’d say.


Things I learned:

  • Make more carrots and potatoes than I really need. People love those glazed carrots.
  • Venison doesn't need to be a scary dish.
  • Chocolate sauce with venison remains one of my favourite dishes - it's nice to know I can cook it!

Guest verdict

Guests enjoy it all, and complained about their not being more leftovers for second helpings, particularly for the carrots and potato. It’s not often the veg gets such a favourable response. A few guests would have been very happy to have a full second plate’s worth, but had to make do with venison, chocolate sauce and puree!

Next post: Starting onto the tasting plate for dessert – Heston recipes and Heston inspired.

1 comment:

  1. Carrots in butter are god's way of saying 'eat your veg'. ;-)

    I can't imagine the venison with chocolate sauce. Something to try one day... at a restaurant! And I can imagine the beetroot and tatie puree, sounds delicious! Strikes me as something that would be good with a pinch of nutmeg if it's served with a less strongly flavoured meat?