Friday 20 December 2013

Venison Bolognese


Oh venison, how do I love thee?  Nom, nom, nom ...

I have had the pleasure for many years to know deer hunters who are very generous.  I am always excited to get some of Rick's venison sausages or some of the roasts and steaks I have received.  And very recently I have been given a variety of cuts, including some ground venison (thanks Peter!). 

I really want to try a chili some time but when I only have a limited amount of ground venison, my first choice is always a bolognese ragu.  This particular recipe, which I have prepared many times, is based on a youtube video by Mario Batali.  He uses beef, veal and pork and I have substituted venison for the beef and veal in this version.

If you want to do this properly, do not rush!  This should take about 4 hours.

Buon appetito!

1 large onion
3 celery stalks
2 medium carrots
3 cloves garlic
Herbs: thyme, rosemary, parsley
1 lb ground venison
3/4 lb ground pork
1 small can tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup white wine
Parmesan cheese

Pasta to serve (pappardelle is awesome)

Finely dice the vegetables.  This is a basic mirepoix ...onion, celery and carrot.  The onion should equal two parts to one part each of the carrot and celery.  Not sure if I did a great job, but close enough.  Then add the garlic.  You want them to blend into the sauce rather than stick out in chunks.

Prepare a bouquet garni with the herbs - I often wrap the herbs in a coffee filter to avoid pieces falling out into the dish, but you can just as easily wrap them with butcher's twine (food grade twine).

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot and add veggies and the bouquet garni.  Add a pinch of kosher salt.  Keep this on a low-medium heat for about 30 minutes.  If it gets hot, add some liquid - stock, beer, wine ... a little of whatever is on hand.

After a half hour, add the meat and a bit more salt and some pepper.  This is going to take a while.  Let it cook low and slow for about 45 minutes or so to render the fat.  Before moving to the next step, the meat should be crackling ...

Add the tomato paste and cook for another 30 minutes on low-medium heat.  This is probably a good time to remove the bouquet garni.  Then add the milk and cook just 4-5 minutes for it to evaporate.  Add the white wine and cook a few minutes to let the alcohol cook away.  After about 5 minutes, keep the temperature at low-medium (so 3 for an old school stovetop) then cover and cook for about an hour.  Taste and season with S&P.  Add in some parmesan as well; the saltiness helps with the seasoning.

You do not need a lot of sauce with the pasta, just enough to coat the pasta is sufficient.  Put some of the sauce in a pan, toss with the cooked pasta and some parmesan then serve hot.

Grazie, altrettanto
Grazie, altrettant

No comments:

Post a Comment