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.