Ginger-poached venison with bone-marrow Parmesan sauce & broccoli cous cous

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

This was the dish I demonstrated in more cooking demos than any other in 2008-2009. It’s a dish that seems incredibly difficult on paper, but which in reality is very simple - so long as you have your bone marrow sorted. The sauce is truly fabulous and in this version it works so well with the refreshing broccoli cous cous which in itself is a very simple but great recipe to have up your sleeve - try replacing the broccoli with spinach, peas, carrots or cauliflower. It was the Maghreb region of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya) that introduced cous cous to the culinary world, and these days you’re likely to buy instant cous cous that simply needs water or stock added. The handy hint for this is to never pour on boiling, or even simmering, stock or water - which unbelievably almost every packet says to do. Only ever add tepid or cold water or stock, which will ensure the grains remain fluffy and loose, and will prevent them sticking into one lumpen mass. Once the cous cous has absorbed the liquid you can then warm it up in a covered bowl set over a pot of simmering water, or in the microwave. Mind you, I prefer to eat my cous cous at room temperature as the sauces and garnishes are invariably served piping hot. Try using beef fillet, or lamb neck fillet in place of the venison. I like to make this using farmed New Zealand venison, as wild venison may be too rich for some people, but both will be fine.

Ingredients

  • 600 g venison loin, trimmed, portioned into 4
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped (no need to peel them)
  • 1 thumb of ginger, sliced (don’t peel it unless it’s dirty)
  • a small handful of hard herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano)
  • 15 ml (3 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 glass robust red wine
  • 2 litres dark veal or chicken jus, approximately
  • 50 g butter
  • 50 g bone marrow sliced 5 mm thick, extracted fresh from bones
  • 40 g coarse sourdough breadcrumbs, made from 2-3-day-old crustless bread
  • 30 g Parmesan, grated
  • broccoli cous cous
  • cress to garnish

Method

Season the venison generously with freshly ground black pepper and leave to come to room temperature.

Heat up a saucepan (large enough to hold the meat in one layer) and fry the garlic, ginger and herbs in the olive oil to colour, stirring as they cook. Add the venison to the pan and colour the meat all over. Add the wine to the pan and bring to the boil - it will splutter a little so be careful. Add enough jus to cover the meat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a rapid simmer and cook for 3 minutes then turn the heat off and flip the meat over. At this point the venison will be rare to medium-rare which is great for lean meats like venison. If you’re making this with lamb neck fillets, they’ll benefit from another 5 minutes gentle cooking. Leave the meat in the pan to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Before you make the marrow sauce read the recipe to get a feel for it. Cook the butter to a nut-brown colour then add the sliced marrow and cook until it begins to render down, stirring frequently. Add the breadcrumbs and cook to colour for a minute, then add 150 ml of sieved cooking jus from the venison. Bring it to the boil then simmer for a minute. Add the Parmesan and season with pepper and a little salt if needed.

To Serve

Spoon the cous cous into the centre of a plate. Slice the rested venison against the grain and lay on top, then spoon the marrow sauce over and sprinkle with the cress.

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