October is the best month of the year – Venison season and my birthday month, all topped off by Halloween celebrations! Venison is my favourite game meat and the one I cook most often. It is a truly beautiful meat – a perfect balance of tenderness and gamey flavour (which doesn’t over-power).
Loin is a perfect showcase for sous vide cooking and has proved the most appreciative recipient. Cooking for 1 hour at 61C gives perfect results. I then rolled the venison in Taste No. 5 powder before quickly searing to give a greater depth of flavour – but it would be equally delicious without.
I’ve recently discovered smoked sea salt and I’m an instant convert. Sprinkle a little on the venison and drizzle over some Oro De Bailen before serving – perfection (and very little work)!
I craved something starchy and fried with this but I’ve had a glut of tripe cooked chips recently. To save my guilt I knocked up a quick batch of parsnip chips – recipe included.
Sous Vide Venison, Parsnip Chips
For the Venison: 500g Trimmed Venison Loin, 1tbsp Butter, 1 Thyme Sprig, 1 Garlic Clove Bashed, Taste No. 5 Powder, Smoked Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Chips: 2 Large Parsnips, 1tbsp Plain Flour, 1tsp Cayenne Pepper, 4tbsp Vegetable Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper
1) Pre-heat the water bath to 61C. Make a herb sachet by wrapping the thyme and garlic in cling film and cutting off the ends. Vacuum pack the venison with the butter and herb sachet. Place in the water bath and cook at 61C for 1 hour.
2) In the meantime, make the parsnip chips. Pre heat the oven to 210C. Add the oil to a medium baking tray and place in the oven to heat.
3) Cut the parsnips into even sized chips and place in a large pan of salted cold water. Bring the water to the boil, boil for two minutes then drain the parsnips.
4) Place the parsnips in a bowl with the flour, cayenne, a little salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Cook the chips in the hot oil for around 30 minutes or until crisp, turn half way through cooking. Keep warm until the venison is ready.
5) Once the venison is ready, remove from the water bath and the vacuum bag. Sprinkle with Taste No. 5 powder and sear quickly in a little olive oil in a very hot pan.
6) To serve, slice the venison, sprinkle with a little smoked sea salt and drizzle with good quality extra-virgin olive oil. Serve the parsnip chips on the side.