Now I cannot pretend that this recipe is my own, yea sure I tweaked it but not much. Nigella, I bow before your domestic goddessy alter! I just love her! I love her sumptious, chuck it all in, put more on, eat more attitude! (unfortunately for me I can't do it that often due to her dishes being ridiculously calorie laden!).
However yesterday my dearly beloved partner (who i'm sure was sick of healthy food) asked me if I wouldn't mind cooking him something extra special. A nice romantic night in (as we are both a bit brassic post Crimbo!). I of course took up the challenge with relish! (not literally....but I could do a recipe if you like? ;p). I fancied doing something different, so I picked up a few cook books for inspiration. Halfway through Nigella's 'Express' Cookbook I spied with my little eye a perfect dish. Griddled Venison Steaks With Pink Gin Sauce. Amazing. My fella is an avid Gin drinker, in fact I think he may have been a reincarnated drunkard from the early 18th century when the 'Gin Craze' was occurring! So as soon as I saw this recipe I was like ding dang doo that's the recipe for me!!
Venison. Extremely lean and actually quite cost effective! I went to my local butchers and got two big venison steaks for just over a fiver. Yes that's right £5!!! You can't even get a decent sirloin for £5!
I had gin in the house so I didn't have to buy anything else really! I will post the recipe below. I have to say it was absolutely stunning. It was mouthwateringly tender (due to marination time and also quick cooking time, plus resting) and went down an absolute treat. We both absolutely loved it. It also looked very impressive so would be nice for dinner parties!!!!!
Griddled Venison with Pink Gin Sauce, Smashed Garlic and Rosemary New Potatoes and Tenderstem Broccoli
For the Venison:
2 x Venison Steaks
2xtbsp Olive Oil (I put slightly less in as I was using steaks rather than loin)
1 Onion peeled and quartered
2 Garlic cloves bruised
Star Anise (I personally hate aniseed so I left this out, but if you like it.....bung it in!!)
2tsps worcester sauce
Tenderstem Brocolli (I used a whole pack from tesco, i'd say it was enough for 3-4 people)
For the Pink Gin Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
5 spring onions finely chopped (whites only....I used around 8 as the spring onions were small)
Pinch of salt
3 Red Delicious apples
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon gin
Juice of 1 lemon
1 long red chili, left whole (I forgot to get a chilli so I used chilli flakes instead)
For the smashed potatoes:
New potatoes ( I don't know weights i'm sorry as I chucked the whole packet in to have leftovers for today!)
2x tbsp olive oil
2 x garlic cloves crushed
2tsps of rosemary (dried) or a few springs of fresh.
- For the venison, put all ingredients (except the tenderstem broccoli!) into a freezer bag and leave to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes, 2 hours would be perfect at room temperature (not in the fridge please!)
- Whilst the venison is marinading prepare the apple sauce.
- Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then add the salt and spring onions. Cook on a low heat until the onions are softened but not browned.
- Chop the apple in half (dont worry about coring or peeling them as the red skin gives the pink colour) then chop each half in quarters.
- Add to the pan along with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, cover and let simmer for around 20-30 minutes until the apples have softened.
- If you have used a whole chilli, remove it at this point.
- Pass the sauce through a fine sieve or if you have a potato ricer then use this, You will be left with a delightfully pink apple sauce. Cover and leave at room temperature.
- 40 mins before you want to eat, pop the new potatoes on to boil for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200degrees.
- When the potatoes are ready drain and put into an ovenproof dish. Use a fork to 'smash' them. You don't want them to be mashed you want them to retain some shape but still be smashed down.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan (or very carefully in the microwave), add garlic and rosemary and pour over the potatoes, making sure they are all coated. Then pop them into the oven to crisp up and become gorgeously golden and crunchy on top.
- 20 minutes before dinnertime, put a frying pan or ideally a griddle pan (to get those luscious scorch marks over the meat!) and when hot add the venison steaks.
- Cook to preference. I like Venison and any red meat in fact quite pink so I cooked mine for 10 minutes turning frequently. Using the touch test. For rare touch the meat with your finger and it should have the same 'spongy softness' that your cheek does. If you want medium it should feel the same as touching your chin does, if you want well done it should feel the same as pressing on your forehead.
- After cooking put onto a board or plate and cover with foil to keep warm and rest. Resting is so important with meats! It means all those lovely juices stay in the meat and keep it so tender.
- By this time your potatoes should be nearly ready.
- Put your tenderstem broccoli on to boil for 5 minutes. When its ready, drain and toss it in a splash of lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Carve the meat at a diagonal and spread on the plate. Top with the apple sauce, serve up your potatoes and tenderstem brocolli and eat! Yummy!
NB - I have to say I used way more than two tbsps of gin......because we love gin, I think I must've put in around 6!!! But it was soooooooo good and not overpowering at all. Tweak it to your own tastes. Add sugar if you think its too tart, I think I added 1 tsp!