Two nights with Venison

After a massive birthday weekend, (just like it should be), i got the chance to cook up something Sunday night.

After a quick visit to my sister’s house yesterday she dug up and chopped up some carrots and herbs for me, puurfect.

So French to have two wonderful sauces on the plate at once. No one was better than the other, so moreish and for a sauce junkie like me i was in heaven. The venison was quite rare, so the texture was interesting. Ange loved it though. Another of Manu’s recipe’s.

Fillet of venison with pepper sauce and pumpkin puree.

Two amazing sauces.
Two amazing sauces.

Venison night two.

Ok, going places i’ve never been before, raw vension served as tartare. When we originally bought this fillet i’d planned on making this dish and tonight’s the night. Matched with plenty of condiments i’d figured it would take my mind off the nature of what i was eating.

There was no fat what so ever in this fillet, just dark red, lean meat. I topped mine with a raw duck egg yolk. You really wouldn’t know the difference to a cooked one.
I served it with some chips hehe
The finely diced venison was mixed with some chopped cornichons, capers, eschalots and parsley.

Fries and condiments galore!
Fries and condiments galore!

I quite liked it, i ignored the texture and actually finished quite a large serving. It was nice with all the different condiments such as Tabasco, ketchup, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, horseradish, and crushed juniper berries.

What do you think?

Venison Tartare.

Duck egg yolk, yummm.
Duck egg yolk, yummm.

Confit of duck and salted caramel tarts.

Angela’s in the kitchen tonight cooking up a confit of duck. Click the link if you want a bit of extra information.

First the duck merrylands are salted and left in the fridge for a few hours to cure.

A bay leaf, some thyme and garlic also in there with the rock salt.
A bay leaf, some thyme and garlic also in there with the rock salt.

When ready to cook, rinse all the salt etc off the duck and pat dry. Angela heated up two cans of duck fat to soften, then added the duck to the pan.

Duck cooking in duck.
Duck cooking in duck.

This then cooks at 160deg for a bit over 90mins.

90 something minutes later, looks goooood ;)
90 something minutes later, looks goooood 😉

She also cooked a duck breast skin side down until crispy, it was beautifully moist. Served with some blanched kale tossed with some extra virgin olive oil,  salt and pepper.  A drizzle of veal jus reduced with some cherries. The taste of one piece of duck to the next was almost overwhelming, I just couldn’t get over it, all the way through the meal i am just saying, ‘this is the most amazing meal i have ever had’.

One of the best things i have ever tasted.
One of the best things i have ever tasted.

 

Stop and pause for another mid meal photograph hehe
Stop and pause for another mid meal photograph hehe

Earlier in the day i prepared my pastry for the caramel tarts.

Pastry was already rolled which was a big help.
Pastry was already rolled which was a big help.

I found the dark chocolate pastry the day before and then had to go out again yesterday for the dulce de leche, which is just pretty much caramel.

IMG_8168

Angela has all the equipment so it’s good to put it to use. These were cooked with the weights in for about 6-8mins then the beads taken out and cooked for a further 2 minutes and then left to cool completely.

I melted the chocolate, spread the caramel on the bottom then spooned in the chocolate on top, swirling to coat .

We didn’t really have time to eat them because they had to cool a little to set. It was getting late so just a quick taste.

This morning i tried to cut one in half but because the chocolate was so hard it sort of cracked as you can see, still, doesn’t detract from the taste. Brought one to work today to share around. Shhhhhh 😉

If only you knew how good these taste ;)
If only you knew how good these taste 😉

The story of the duck continues tonight, to be continued! 🙂

Cairanne

I’m fascinated by wine making and every time i go wine tasting i learn more and more. Yesterday we went and tasted about 30 French wines from a variety of regions such as Bordeaux, Sancerre,  and a place new to us, Cairanne.

There’s always a little gem or something that appeals to you when you go wine tasting and this wine and its story were ours.

Apparently wine making in France has certain rules in yield, naming rights, (a good example is Champagne), and a word i had to look up, appellation.

An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.

Certain appellations determine what you can yield per hectare. The broadest level of appellation is Cotes du Rhone which has the least stringent level, then it goes to Cotes du Rhone Villages which become more strict.

And then there is Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne. This appellation is awarded to vineyards who make exceptional wine in the commune of Cairanne.

Hope i am not boring you but it’s so interesting to me! If you want to read more check out.

http://www.foodtourist.com/French_Wine/Cairanne.htm

Rows of French.
Rows of French.
She's very photogenic ;)
She’s very photogenic 😉

Now we have to sort through an extensive list of French wine and decide what we can afford, (not much), hah, probably a good thing anyway 🙂

Not only did we have a fantastic wine to watch some utterly crazy Game of Thrones but Angela also made the best Spaghetti Bolognese i’ve ever had. She said to me during the week, ‘find a spag bol recipe for me to cook Saturday’, i didn’t have time and i was almost going to call my Mum for her recipe as she makes the ‘best’. Oh well, it all worked out good in the end.

Double yummy
Double yummy