Venison Wellington – a showstopper of a dish for New Year’s celebrations
Author: Stewart Turner
This re-working of beef Wellington uses venison, which is just fantastic at this time of year – it’s lean and full of flavour, not to mention it is that little bit more luxurious than other meats. That being said, there’s nothing to be intimidated about – buy from a good supplier and, for this recipe, try to use loin pieces from larger deer as they will be thicker and not over-cook before the pastry is done. The Parma ham adds a lovely layer of seasoning and the truffle that added bit of decadence befitting a New Year feast. However you’re celebrating, have a brilliant evening.
250g mixed wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 small shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.2kg venison loin, trimmed of all fat
1 small truffle – fresh or preserved – finely chopped (optional)
1tsp truffle oil
1tbsp chopped parsley
2tbsp chopped chives
Splash of olive oil
500g puff pastry
8 slices Parma ham
2 eggs, beaten
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry into two rectangles approximately 20cm x 30cm (8in x 12in). Place on a baking sheet, cover with cling film and put in the fridge to rest.
For the mushroom duxcelle heat a splash of oil in a medium pan, fry the wild mushrooms until they start to go golden, and then add the butter, shallots and garlic continue to fry until the mushrooms have cooked. Set aside to cool
Cut the venison in half to give you two more manageable size pieces, season well with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan on a high heat, add a splash of oil and fry the venison loins until nicely golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and leave to rest and cool completely.
To finish the duxcelle filling finely chop the mushrooms add the truffle and truffle oil, chives and parsley. Lay the Parma ham out on a double sheet of cling film and spread over the mushroom mix. Place the venison in the middle and keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the outside edge, neatly roll the Parma ham and mushrooms over the venison into a tight barrel shape. Twist the ends to secure the cling film. Refrigerate for an hour.
Lay the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the venison in the centre brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg, gently wrap the pastry around the loin. Crimp the ends together to seal and turn the parcel over so that the untidy sealed edges are at the base, brush the whole thing with egg wash and place on a greaseproof-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the second loin piece and fridge for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Remove the venison parcel from the fridge. place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200°C, Cook for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how well cooked you like your meat, until the pastry is golden-brown. Remove from the oven, remove the ends to stop the cooking process and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.