RACK OF VENISON WITH A HERB CRUST AND WILD MUSHROOM SAUCE
Preparation 35 minutes, plus soaking Cooking 25 minutes, plus standing Serves 8 A rack of venison makes a luxurious alternative to turkey and needs less preparation and attention during cooking. Allow 2-3 cutlets per person, depending on appetite.
10g dried wild mushrooms 110g fresh breadcrumbs 2 tbsp each freshly chopped curly parsley, rosemary and thyme zest of 1 orange 3 tbsp olive oil 2 x 8-rib racks of venison 2 shallots, finely chopped 200g tiny button mushrooms (or large mushrooms, sliced) large sprig of rosemary 100ml masala 4 tbsp double cream freshly chopped curly parsley, to garnish truffle oil, for drizzling (optional)
1 Heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) gas mark 6. Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes. 2 Mix the breadcrumbs, herbs, zest and 1 tbsp oil. Brush the venison with oil, then press the mixture along the top of the racks. (They can be prepared to this point, then chilled for up to 24 hours.) Transfer to lipped baking sheets and cook for 25 minutes for a medium-rare finish. Rest for 20 minutes in a warm place, covered with foil. 3 Meanwhile, strain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid but leaving behind the last few gritty drops. Finely chop the mushrooms. 4 Heat the remaining oil in a sauté pan. Gently fry the shallots until softened. Add the fresh mushrooms and rosemary sprig, and sauté until golden and cooked through. Add the rehydrated mushrooms and their liquid and cook to reduce by half. Pour in the masala and, again, reduce by half. Stir in the cream. Remove the rosemary and check the seasoning. Stir in the parsley. Keep warm. 5 Slice the venison racks into cutlets. Serve plated with the mushroom sauce and a celeriac rosti. Drizzle with truffle oil if you like. Redcurrant jelly is also a delicious accompaniment.