EADT Suffolk - - Chef Masterclass -

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.

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