Recipe: slow cooked venison with Hasselback potatoes and cream sauce

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In between Christmas and New Year back in Sweden we cooked venison one night, using a recipe from a Swedish cook who also likes to go shooting so I really trust his game recipes.

The original recipe called for elk meat but it worked just as well with venison. The cut is near or around the rump; one that needs to cook slowly to become tender. So this will take a bit of time but it’s not difficult at all and definitely worth it. The tender meat and the creamy sauce (with all the jus from cooking the meat) is just amazing. Serve with Hasselback potatoes and broccoli and tarte tatin and vanilla ice cream for dessert. So yummy!

Slow cooked venison with Hasselback potatoes and cream sauce, serves 6

Translated from and adapted after Per Morberg’s recipe in the book Morberg Lagar Vilt.

1 kg venison rump (off the bone)

salt and pepper

1 carrot

1 onion

1/2 leek

3 tbsp tomato purée

300 ml game stock

200 ml red wine

2 bay leaves

1 sprig thyme

6 juniper berries

Creamy sauce:

the jus from the meat

500 ml double cream

3 tbsp blackcurrant jelly

salt and pepper

Trim the meat and rub in plenty of seasoning. Brown the meat on all sides in a large casserole dish.

Cut the carrot and onion in large pieces. Wash the leek and cut it into large pieces as well. Add it all to the casserole dish and let it brown for a few minutes. 

Add tomato purée, stock, wine and herbs. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat until simmering and let it simmer with the lid on until cooked through (until the meat is 65-70 C in the middle), approx 45-60 minutes (maybe more). Turn the meat and baste it a few times. Remove the steak from the casserole pan and cover with tin foil.  

For the sauce: sieve the jus and pour it into a clean saucepan together with the cream. Bring to the boil and let it slowly thicken. Stir occasionally. Add the jelly and season to taste.

Cut the meat into thin slices across the grain of the fibres. Serve with the sauce and Hasselback potatoes.

 

 

 

London: New York dumplings at Red Farm

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One Saturday night with no plans, my friend and I after a few texts suddenly had made dinner plans; to meed about 40 minutes later in Covent Garden. Even though I like to plan ahead most of the time, I find it so refreshing to make plans last minute. Especially when I live in a city like London with lots to offer.

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My friend Ro suggested a new place, that still was in it’s soft-launch place, as she’d been to the New York restaurant and loved it. Always keen to try new things I thought that was a great idea and was really happy when we got a table on arrival (although now that they’re properly open I would recommend making a reservation beforehand).

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Located next to another New York satellite, Balthazar, I definitely think Red Farm is here to stay. I really liked their concept of yummy but fun food and wish more restaurants would be creative in that way.

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Like these pork and crab soup dumpling size XXL that comes with a straw! It’s a genius way of eating it, first drinking the soup and then eating the dumpling. So yummy! My only criticism was that the dumpling spoons were a little bit small for that dumpling size.

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Their most iconic dish though, is probably this one; Pac Man shrimp dumplings complete with different coloured ghosts! So fun and very well executed.

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One of the best dishes was this starter though; the marinated and grilled pork belly. It had sweetness, lots of umami and a nice crunch. So moreish!!

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The scallion pancakes with smoked bacon were also really nice, but a little rich.

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Another favourite was the wide rice noodles with roast duck. Again full of umami (seems to be their thing) and lots of earthy flavours. We also had some broccoli on the side, and although nice, it’s not really the vegetables you come here for – it’s the rich satisfying umami dishes, perfect for the autumn ahead!

Red Farm, 9 Russell St, London WC2B 5HZ

Recipe: lamb ribs with nigella seeds

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I tend to bookmark recipes to try all the time, but sometimes it takes me quite a while to actually try them out. This one, is definitely one of those as I first made a mental note while watching the series Simply Nigella, and then literally bookmarking the page in the cookbook, then leaving it for a year or so. But this recipe is worth the wait. It’s incredibly easy to “make” (the oven takes care of it really) and it’s really yummy and packed full of flavour.

If you’re not a fan of lamb meat this may not be for you as the meat flavour is really strong because of the cut and the fat that melts over the meat in the oven. But if you, like me – like lamb – they’re heavenly!

 

Lamb ribs with nigella and cumin seeds, serves 6-10

Adapted from Nigella’s recipe.

4 teaspoons nigella seeds

4 teaspoons cumin seeds

4 teaspoons regular olive oil

4 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cloves garlic (peeled and finely grated, or minced)

24 lamb ribs (cut from 3 lamb breasts, bones in)

Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Line a large roasting tin with foil and sit a rack on top.

Get out a dish and add the nigella and cumin seeds, pour in the oil and soy and add the garlic. Stir to combine.

Dip the ribs, one by one, in this mixture, so that they are lightly coated on both sides; you may think this scant amount won’t be enough for all the ribs, but it is. 

Arrange them on the rack above the lined baking tin and cook in the oven for 1½–2 hours (they can differ in size), or until the fat on the ribs is crisp and the meat tender. Serve. 

 

 

London: nachos, tacos and meat at Temper

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When I moved to London almost nine years ago (yikes!) I was a more modest foodie than I am know, partly because the restaurant scene in Malmö at the time was quite limited, especially compared to London but also compared to Malmö today.

Back then, nine years ago, I liked most places I tried in London (apart from the obvious bad ones like Garfunkels). Nowadays I’m more choosy but love to try new restaurants and eat things I can only dream of cooking myself.

Neil Rankin’s food at Temper falls into that category, but without being pretentious at all. When my friend Daisy and I came here for dinner on a Saturday night about a month ago the place was full with people chatting, good music and relaxed waiters explaining the menu. And in the middle of the room an open kitchen with chefs cooking the delicious meats.

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There is definitely a focus on meat here, chef Rankin is a barbecue expert, but without the excess you get in steak restaurants. Instead you pick as many 100 g you want of each meat and it’s served on top a flatbread to be enjoyed with all the great side dishes.

But back to the beginning. We came in, liked the atmosphere and sat down. Scanned the menu, chose a cocktail each and said yes to the waiter when he asked if we wanted some nachos (easiest question ever). The nachos arrived and we were really impressed as these are the most perfect nachos I’ve come across. It’s a small portion but since it’s loaded with meat, cheese and spice it’s the perfect amount to get you to start salivating over the rest of the menu.

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After the nachos is was time for tacos and we ordered two different ones to share. They were not as mind blowing as the nachos but still nice. My favourite was the top one with pork and pineapple but next time I want to try the ‘aged cheeseburger’ (!) ones.

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Next up was the famous meats and we decided on just 100 g each of beef and lamb to share but with all the starters and the sides it was plenty for two.

The lamb was tender and lovely – some of the best I had, but the beef was even more amazing. So tender and full of flavour it simply melted in the mouth. And together with the beef fat potatoes with cheese (amazing) I was in food heaven. We also had the corn salad (very good) and the grilled baby gem which was insanely good! The green sauce and chipotle sourcream were both nice sauces that went with everything.

We loved every bite of this and I can’t wait to go back for the meat, potatoes and that baby gem. Top marks to the chefs!

Temper, 25 Broadwick St., London W1F 0DF

Marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs

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That weekend in the countryside the maincourse was a buffet with plenty of options. We had sausages and burgers from Waitrose as well as chicken drumsticks with sweet chilli marinade and marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs.

For the sausages and burgers we had buns, mustard, ketchup, mayo, sliced tomatoes, onions and pickles.

The other trimmings were a regular salad with avocado and spring onions, couscous salad with grilled peppers and chickpeas, bean salad with Dijon and feta, classic potato salad (with parsley instead of dill) and slaw.

Marinated pork fillet with lemon and herbs, serves 6-8

2 pork fillets/tenderloins approx 400 g each

150-200 ml mild olive oil

1 lemon, zest and juice

2 tsp honey

1 garlic clove

5-8 sprigs of thyme, leaves only

5 sprigs rosemary, chopped

Trim the meat of any fat/tendons and cut into 1 inch thich slices. Flatten them a bit. Season the meat. 

Mix the marinade and cover the meat (either in ziplock bags or a ceramic tray/bowl. Leave to marinate in the fridge at least over night or for 48 hours. Barbecue. 

Red deer roast with rosemary, port and juniper berries, roasted almond potatoes and girolle sauce

Sorry about the world’s longest heading, but this meal was a special one.

Not special in the sense that it was a special occasion, it was just a Saturday night at my parents’ house in the countryside last time I was visiting.

But it is special in the way that this is the type of food my family and I love. The taste of course, and the preparation. But also the produce. Especially the produce.

The venison is from Red Deer and it roamed around free in the local area until shot by someone at an estate near by. It had a good life, died instantly and nothing is wasted on the animal.

The other ingredients are local too, the potatoes were dug up in my parent’s garden, the rosemary picked in the same garden and the girolles my aunt picked in the woods nearby. Sure, the port was not local, but most ingredients were and that is the way I prefer to eat.

And boy, does it taste good, when it is so close between produce and table.

Red deer roast with rosemary, port and juniper berries, roasted almond potatoes and girolle sauce, serves 4

1 Red deer roast, about 1.2 kilos once cleaned off tendons

3 sprigs rosemary

50 ml  port

1 tbsp juniper berries

butter and oil for frying

800 g almond potatoes, washed but not peeled

rapeseed oil

The sauce:

1 handful dried girolles

1 shallots, finely chopped

butter for frying

meat juices

300 ml cream

sauce colouring  

salt and pepper

perhaps another splash of port

Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and place in a greased roasting tray flat side up. Drizzle with rapeseed oil and season. Put the girolles in a bowl and cover with hot water. 

Brown the meat on all sides in butter and oil on high heat. Season. Add a spoonful of rapeseed oil in another roasting tin. Crush the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar and add to the roasting tin. Place the meat on top and pierce the meat with the rosemary sprigs. Pour in the port and place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Place in the oven until the inside temperature is 68C, it takes about 30-40 minutes. Remove the roasting tin and transfer the meat to a plate, cover with tin foil and leave it to rest.

Turn the oven up to 180-200C so the potatoes will colour. 

Squeeze the water out of the mushrooms. Add a knob of butter to a (preferably non-stick) saucepan on medium heat. Fry the onions until translucent and then add the mushrooms and fry until golden brown. Add the juices from the roasting tin through a fine sieve and add the cream. Bring to the boil while stirring. Add more port if needed. Season and colour.

Carve the meat into thin slices, serve with the potatoes, sauce and vegetables of your choice. (We had romanesco, but cauliflower, broccoli or carrots work too.)