Venison is one of those meats that many people shy away from. Perhaps because they are not sure how to cook it, and then there is the 'Bambi' factor. Neither of these reasons would put me off and I have cooked venison in the past but I find that it is just not readily available at the butcher or the supermarket. It's nice to know that I'm in tune with top chefs Valentine Warner and Ainsley Harriott who were championing Venison and Mustard on the Great British Food Revival and I couldn't believe how closely Valentine Warner's views about venison were to mine!
So I was excited to see that as part of Flavour Fortnight in August this year, a Vension Farm Walk and tasting was offered by Millbank Parkland Venison just outside Lockerbie.
Millbank Farm is run by Emma Boyes with her husband Gareth, and after a walk around the farm to see the deer, Emma prepared some recipes which we were able to taste. The sausages and burgers were delicious and all the dishes were full of flavour. I was intrigued to see what I could make with this local produce, so last month I contacted Emma to see if she would like me to make some dishes with venison from her farm.
Venison is regarded as the premier meat for the health conscious. With the lowest fat, lowest cholesterol and the highest protein content of any meat combined with high iron content and omega 3 it is ideal for those on a healthy or low cholesterol diet.
Venison: 6g/100g fat (beef/chicken/lamb/pork 12-20g/100g)
Venison: 198 kcal/100g (beef/chicken/lamb/pork 214-286kcal/100g)
Millbank Parkland Venison is exclusively sourced from 14 to 22 month old animals in prime condition, the meat is hung for the optimum period of 1 week, resulting in venison which is consistent, tender and of very high quality.
Not all venison is the same. Venison varies within species, age, gender, whether farmed venison or wild venison as well as the condition and health status of the deer. There are 6 deer species in the UK. Scottish venison includes fallow, red, roe and sika deer. We believe fallow and roe venison are of the highest quality due to the texture and flavour of the meat. At Millbank, through the choice of deer combined with how they manage and select the deer, they aim to consistently provide the very best culinary experience.
Millbank Farm Parkland Venison is Fallow Deer venison and wild Roe deer which are less gamey than Red Deer venison and much more tender, it is low in fat and Millbank Farm venison is ethical, welfare friendly, stress free, low food miles, low carbon footprint, processed in their natural environment. This information and more is available on the Millbank Farm Parkland Venison website.
Haunch of Millbank Farm Parkland Venison in a Cider and Mustard SauceI wanted to come up with a recipe full of the flavours of autumn, which complemented rather than overpowered the venison, apples and squash seemed to be the answer!
Serves 4-61 small haunch of venison (approx 500g)
1tbsp olive oil
6 sage leaves, chopped
150ml vintage cider
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
100g creme fraiche
1 tsp cornflour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat.
2. Brown the haunch of venison in the pan, then remove to an oven proof dish.
5. Once cooked, lift the venison onto another plate cover with foil and allow to rest.
6. Pour the mustardy juices into a small saucepan and heat until simmering.
7. Mix the teaspoon of cornflour with the creme fraiche and add to the juices.
8. Cook until slightly thickened.
9. Carve the haunch of venison in thick slices and serve on butternut squash and apple puree with the sauce poured over generously.
Butternut Squash and Apple Puree1 medium butternut squash
2 Cox's Apple Pippins
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1. Heat the oven to 200C
2. Peel, deseed and chop the butternut squash into cubes. Cut the apples in half and take out the core with a teaspoon.
3. Put the 3tbsp of olive oil into a roasting tin and add the butternut squash and the apples to the tin and roast in the oven until the squash is tender, about 30 - 40 minutes.
The Millbank Farm Parkland Venison should be served slightly pink to be enjoyed at its best. The flavour of the meat is excellent and goes really well with the sharp heat of the mustard and creme fraiche sauce and the sweetness of the butternut squash puree and cider.
If you would like to try some Millbank Farm Parkland Venison you can buy it from the
online farm shop or take part in the giveaway below for a chance to win a taster pack for two people containing 2 rump steaks, 2 vension burgers and a ring of venison sausage. Details of what you need to do are in the Rafflecopter widget with opportunities for bonus entries. Please remember to read the terms and conditions.
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