Venison makes a wonderful weekend supper – whether you are cooking a casserole with haunch or shoulder or pan searing a piece of loin or fillet. Rich without overpowering it marries perfectly with winter and autumnal flavours.
Attempting to clear the cupboards after Christmas I have paired pan seared venison fillet with chestnut purée and spiced cranberry sauce, accompanied by grilled brussels sprouts and cherries, sautéed new potatoes and oven-dried cherry tomatoes.
This simple chestnut purée is very versatile and can be used with a variety of game and rich meats. The cranberry sauce will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge and is great on sandwiches – just don’t give too much to the kids (it contains a hefty amount of port)!
I give the recipes for my chestnut purée and cranberry sauce below which can be paired with pan seared venison (as above) or with any other game of your choosing.
Chestnut Purée & Cranberry Sauce
For the Purée: 250g Vac-Packed Chestnuts, 1/2 Pint Single Cream, 1/2 Pint Milk, 25g Unsalted Butter, Sea Salt
For the Cranberry Sauce: 175g Fresh Cranberries, 60g Caster Sugar, 1 Cinnamon Stick, Zest 1 Large Orange, 150ml Port
1) To make the chestnut purée – boil the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until you achieve a Beurre Noisette (brown butter). Add the chestnuts and cover with the cream and milk.
2) Turn the heat down low and simmer the chestnuts for 10-15 minutes until tender. Transfer the mixture to food processor and blend until smooth.
3) Pass the purée through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Season with fresh sea salt to taste.
1) To make the cranberry sauce – simmer the cranberries with the sugar and a splash of cold water in a saucepan over a medium heat for 15 minutes until the cranberries have mostly broken down.
2) In a separate saucepan, reduce the port over a high heat with the cinnamon stick and orange zest until reduced by 2/3.
3) Add the port to the cranberry mixture.
The chestnut purée can be kept warm until ready to use or can be reheated.