Country Smallholding

A change for Christ­mas

Mrs Simkins of­fers some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent in the way of fes­tive culi­nary treats


But­tered Veni­son

A tan­ta­lis­ing cross be­tween lamb and beef, a roast­ing joint of roe deer is per­fect for 4- 6 peo­ple. Nat­u­rally lean, it can be dry, but with care the re­sult is suc­cu­lent and juicy: lu­bri­cate well with but­ter, keep cov­ered and avoid over­cook­ing.

Choose haunch, sad­dle or shoul­der and mas­sage all over with but­ter. Sprin­kle with coarsely ground black pep­per.

Roast in an oiled roast­ing tin, cov­ered with foil, in a pre­heated oven for 20 min­utes per 450g/1lb.

Cook at 200C (fan oven) or equiv­a­lent for ini­tial 20 min­utes: re­duce heat to 180C for re­main­ing time. Once juices run clear light pink, re­move from oven and rest, cov­ered with foil, in a warm place for 30 min­utes.

Serve with the ac­com­pa­ni­ments be­low, steamed Brussels sprouts and baby car­rots.

Sherry and Mush­room Gravy


1 medium-large onion, sliced 75g mush­rooms, finely chopped 2 sticks cel­ery, de- strung & finely chopped 2 ta­ble­spoons oil, plus ex­tra 4 ta­ble­spoons cream sherry 1 litre hot wa­ter: veg­etable cook­ing wa­ter is ideal 1 level tea­spoon each Mar­mite & back trea­cle 2 heaped ta­ble­spoons flour


Fry onions, cel­ery and mush­rooms gen­tly in oil un­til soft. Add sherry, turn up heat and bub­ble for 3 min­utes. Add wa­ter, Mar­mite and trea­cle. Tip flour into a large cup and grad­u­ally stir in 3- 4 ta­ble­spoons of cold wa­ter and a dash of oil to make a smooth paste. Add 3- 4 ta­ble­spoons of hot liq­uid from pan grad­u­ally to flour mix­ture and stir back into pan. Bring to the boil, stir­ring fre­quently. Re­duce heat to a sim­mer and cook for 1½ hours or un­til rich and thick. Drain away any sur­plus grease from roast­ing tin and add cook­ing juices, in­clud­ing the sticky residue from the bot­tom, to the gravy.

Tart Berry Sauce

Utilise frozen odd­ments of your sum­mer berry crop in this tangy sauce. Com­bine any of the fol­low­ing: red/white/ black­cur­rants, blue­ber­ries, black­ber­ries, tay/lo­gan­ber­ries, cran­ber­ries and stoned cher­ries.

Ter­rific with veni­son, it also com­ple­ments the chocolate pud­ding beau­ti­fully.


300g mixed tart berries (see above) 100g golden caster sugar 1 ta­ble­spoon lemon juice


Com­bine in­gre­di­ents in a heavy-

 ??  ?? ABOVE: Roast shoul­der of ven­sion. LEFT: Ven­sion sides:
ABOVE: Roast shoul­der of ven­sion. LEFT: Ven­sion sides:
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