Country Living (UK) - - Food & Drink -

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.

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