Not-so-dear deer

March 16, 2010

The Shellseekers stall in Borough Market may sell the best in hand-dived scallops, but the section of the shop I always look at first is its fridge full of game. Previous purchases from there have included wild duck, pheasant and partridge, but this week my eye was caught by some very reasonably priced venison fillets.

The guy behind the counter said that, in his opinion, they were better than the venison steaks, which he was also selling. And, as pack of four small fillets was priced at just £4, I thought I’d give it a go.

Now, the generally accepted way of cooking venison is to marinade then roast it for hours. Remembering that I’d made venison carpaccio for a Christmas meal a few years ago that involved a very brief meeting of meat and frying pan, I decided to give the fillets a bit of a bashing with my rolling pin to flatten them, and sear them in my lovely Le Creuset griddle pan.

But what to have with them? I thought perhaps something that would usually go with lamb might work, so I looked through a few cookery books for something that took my fancy.

I found just the thing in Breakfast, Lunch, Tea – the book from the Rose Bakery. In it was a recipe for lemony artichokes with lamb chops, so I simply followed the instructions for the artichokes, and replaced the lamb with my venison fillets.

The venison was absolutely delicious – full-flavoured, succulent and oh-so tender. And the sweet fresh taste of the lemony artichokes went with it perfectly. In fact, I’d say it’s the ultimate spring dish, with some heartiness to combat the still-chilly weather outside, but a zingy aroma of the (hopefully!) warmer temperatures to come.


2 Responses to “Not-so-dear deer”

  1. Gabby Says:

    I love venison! You would have thought they’d have loads of it up here in Hokkaido, as there are deer all over the place, but it is actually quite hard to come by. We get our hands on a bit here and there, and usually just marinade it and then throw it on the barbie! I’ve had a great venison stew here before too. Never cooked it myself though…

  2. jasnieres Says:

    Reminds me of when dear Joan MacAskill – about the worst cook I have come across – roasted some venison and we all had to admit it was inedible!
    You could have soled several pairs of shoes with it.
    It did put me off trying venison, but might look out for it here although not really the season as the French have finished killing as many things that move as they could for this season. That includes brothers-in-law and cousins who the hunter “mistakes” for a deer. Methinks it is an easy way of dealing with a family feud.

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