VENISON ROGAN JOSH
Se r ve s 4 - 5 h ear t i ly
This recipe can be served as the authentic meat-only dish within a typical Indian feast of different main courses, or it can be more of a British-style one pot supper with the addition of a few vegetables.
Venison is low in cholesterol and fat (less than all reared farmyard meats, including skinless chicken), very high in iron and other nutrients, and a wild, natural meat. Muntjac or roe venison are milder and more like lamb, while red and fallow venison can be richer, more like good beef. A good butcher will furnish you with a lighter-tasting cut if you explain you are new to eating it, one not overly old or too well-hung, and taken from the loin or fillet. For a quick family meal, I use a ready-made spice paste, topped with a few colourful whole spices for the look and added zing. Using pre-ground spices in jars from the supermarket can be costly as the leftovers can go stale swiftly.
The spice flavour and chilli heat of boughtin curry pastes vary brand-to-brand, so if it is your first try of a particular version, add a modest amount, cook it for 10 or 15 minutes, try a forkful and add more to suit your personal taste.
I prefer to brown the meat quickly before simmering it – it gives a lovely, if inauthentic, caramelised and savoury note to the sauce. If adding veggies, I suggest butternut squash and cauliflower cooked with the meat while it simmers gently, and perhaps sautéing some chestnut mushrooms in a little oil, butter and chopped garlic until softened, and adding them at the yoghurt stage. If it is too dry with these additions, add a little more hot stock.
I make a spicy condiment for colour and contrast to top the curry before serving (optional addition). A Kashmiri style pulao rice and simple naan breads work well as accompaniments at the table.