NZ Life & Leisure - - Annabel Langbein -

I’ve used ten­der lean veni­son from Duncan New Zealand Veni­son with shiso leaves and wal­nuts from my gar­den. Shiso or per­illa leaves have a unique flavour with hints of basil, co­rian­der, cit­rus and mint. Shiso can be re­placed with baby cos. 300g piece trimmed veni­son, eg short

loin with no sinew ½ tea­spoon flaky salt ½ tea­spoon finely ground black pep­per 1 ta­ble­spoon ex­tra virgin olive oil ½ cup fresh or­ange juice 2 ta­ble­spoons sherry vine­gar 2 ta­ble­spoons mild honey ¼ tea­spoon five spice pow­der 3 dried figs, very thinly sliced 1 small beet­root, peeled and sliced very thinly us­ing a man­dolin (you won't need all of it) pinch each salt and pep­per and a

pinch of sugar To serve shiso leaves (or baby cos) To gar­nish ½ cup roasted wal­nut pieces, hand­ful mixed soft baby herbs and/or mi­cro­greens, eg tar­ragon, basil, chervil or wa­ter­cress

Sea­son veni­son with salt and pep­per. Heat the oil in a heavy fry­pan and sear meat over high heat for just 20 sec­onds on each of the 4 sides. Wrap tightly in pa­per or tin­foil and freeze un­til very firm, about 2 hours. This makes it eas­ier to slice.

While meat freezes make the fig glaze. Heat or­ange juice, vine­gar, honey and five spice in a small pot. Boil un­til re­duced by half – about 5 min­utes. Take off the heat and add the figs. Leave to cool. Place beet­root slices in a small bowl, sea­son with salt, pep­per and sugar and leave to stand and soften for 5 min­utes. To serve, un­wrap the par­tially frozen veni­son and use a very sharp knife to slice as thinly as pos­si­ble. If us­ing shiso leaves, ar­range a cou­ple of slices of beet on each leaf (or di­rectly onto a serv­ing plate). Fan slices of meat in an over­lap­ping pat­tern on top. Spoon over the fig glaze. Scat­ter with wal­nuts and herbs or mi­cro­greens. Serves 8

COOK'S NOTE Veni­son can be left frozen for up to a month kept in a sealed con­tainer. Bring it out half an hour be­fore needed to thaw a lit­tle so it's eas­ier to cut.

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