Thursday, 18 November 2010

Venison steak, beetroot and potato cake, cavolo nero

All this needed to finish it off was a nice red wine sauce, but I wasn't really in the mood for cooking this evening so made do without. The venison steak was cooked sous vide (30 minutes at 52℃) then finished on a ridged cast iron griddle. The 52℃ water bath ensures the meat is cooked nicely, just on the rare side of medium. The griddle is just for visual appeal and to get some nice Maillard flavours: get the griddle smoking hot then give the steaks about 10 seconds each side, rotate through 90° and repeat to get the cross-hatch pattern. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

The beetroot potato cakes are based on an idea from the Riverford Farm Recipe Book. The recipe calls for equal quantities of potatoes and beetroot, a small onion, wine vinegar, soured cream, horseradish cream, salt and pepper. Luckily it's quite forgiving so I got away with using half a leek instead of the onion and double cream with a splash of lemon juice instead of soured cream.

To make: boil the potatoes, drain, and allow to steam dry. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and peel and grate the beetroot. Melt some butter in a shallow pan, add the onion, and fry gently for a couple of minutes. Add the grated beetroot, a splash of wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. You want to keep a bit of a bite to the beetroot.

Mash the potatoes or push them through a ricer, add the beetroot and horseradish (1-2 tsp to start with), and fold it all together with enough cream to bind. Check the seasoning - add a little lemon juice if you think it needs it, and more horseradish if you like it hot. I added a dollop of hot English mustard for good measure. Form into little cakes and dust with flour. Finally fry in hot butter until browned and crisp on both sides. These were delicious and would make a great light supper on their own.

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