April Recipe of the Month

Thursday 28th April 2022

Venison Tartare with Pickled Girolles and Black Truffle

Tartare is one of my favourite ways to enjoy venison. The loin is the best cut to use as it will be meltingly tender, however it is also possible to use a piece from the haunch that has had all of the sinew and silver skin removed. There is always at least one species of deer in season in the UK- Roe bucks and Muntjac are in season in April & May and both would work well for this recipe.

For the mushrooms, Girolles from Europe are available from early May, with the Scottish variety coming into season mid-summer. Any wild mushroom will work for this with the same preparation. Cultivated organic Shitake mushrooms are also excellent when pickled.

Serves 4

Ingredients

200g of venison loin, sinew removed

120g of small Girolles (you could use any wild mushroom)

15 small silver skin onions

150g of good quality crème fraiche

1 teaspoon of honey

20g of good quality truffle paste plus a dash of truffle oil (you could use fresh truffle if available)

1 baby artichoke

100ml of rapeseed oil

50ml olive oil

25ml red wine vinegar

½ teaspoon of caster sugar


Method

Start by preparing the venison. Remove any sinew and place it in the freezer for 20 mins to firm up. Semi-frozen venison will be much easier to work with. Slice it into even ½ cm slices. Pop it back into the freezer for another 20 mins and then cut it into a small, even dice. Put aside in a small bowl at room temperature whilst you prepare everything else - the tartare will be best eaten at room temperature.

Clean the Girolles with a sharp, small knife, scraping down the stems and taking off the end of the stem. Wash well in lukewarm water and then leave on a tea towel to dry off for 20 minutes.

In a small pan on a medium heat, sweat the Girolles in a little oil, pepper and salt, then add the vinegar, sugar and olive oil. Pop on a lid and remove from the heat.  Mix the crème fraiche with the truffle paste, oil, honey and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wash the artichoke and peel off the green outer skin with a sharp vegetable peeler. Carefully slice on a mandolin and fry in the rapeseed oil at about 130C, carefully moving them around with a spoon until golden brown. Lay onto a piece of kitchen paper and season with salt.

Blanch the onions for three minutes in salted water. Cut in half and blow torch until charred.

Season the diced venison with a pinch of salt and add a splash of the dressing from the mushroom pan. Place a generous amount of crème fraiche onto the plate and spread with the back of a spoon. Put your tartare on top of this (you can use a circular cutter if you want it to look fancy. Place some of the Girolles and artichoke crisps around the tartare and serve.