Venison Wellington – serves 4

You will need loin of venison for this recipe, a cut also known as the loin fillet. Ask your butcher for a whole piece of loin or loin fillet, off the bone, well-trimmed and cut from the centre of the loin so that it’s the same size at either end.

Here we have served the wellington with a spring roll of braised Venison haunch (shoulder), spiced carrot puree, glazed chestnuts and a confit of red cabbage, garnished with wild mushrooms, wilted Brussel sprouts and viola flowers, but the Wellington itself is indulgent enough that a simple garnish of roast root vegetables and seasonal greens does the trick.

Ingredients

  • 800g trimmed loin of venison(see tip, below)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
  • 1½ tbsp English mustard
  • 50g butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlicclove, crushed
  • 500g wild mushrooms, very finely chopped in a food processor
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thymeleaves
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 12 slices prosciutto or Parma ham
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 375g pack all-butter puff pastry – the best you can find, its expensive but worth it!
  • 2 eggyolks, beaten

 

Step-by-step guide to making venison Wellington:

  1. Dry the venison with kitchen paper, and then season well. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the meat all over for about 8 mins. Brush with mustard, leave to cool, then chill for 20 mins. Reserve any juices for the gravy.
  2. Melt the butter and soften the shallot and garlic. Add the mushrooms, herbs and seasoning, and cook for 10 mins until you have a paste-like mixture. Add the brandy and cook until it’s evaporated. Leave to cool.
  3. Overlap 2-3 sheets of cling film on a clean surface and lay the prosciutto in 2 rows, slightly overlapping each slice. Spread the cooled mushroom paste all over the prosciutto, creating a thin, even layer.
  4. Place the fillet in the centre of the mushroom mixture. Using the edge of the cling film, carefully draw the layer of prosciutto and mushroom around the meat.
  5. Roll into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of the cling film as you do, to form a tight log. Chill for 30 mins to firm up.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a rectangle a little larger than the proscuttio ‘sheet’ had been, and trim the edges to neaten.
  7. Carefully unwrap the prosciutto parcel and lay in the middle of the pastry.
  8. Fold over the bottom half of the pastry. Lightly brush the rest of the sheet with beaten egg.
  9. Roll the whole thing around the meat to encase. Neatly fold under the shorter edges to create a parcel.
  10. Transfer to a baking sheet and, using your hands, smooth the pastry around the meat, pressing it firmly to avoid any air being trapped. Brush the pastry all over with beaten egg yolk. Chill for at least 1hr or up to 24 hrs. Then, using the back of a knife or a cocktail stick mark the pastry in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through. Heat your oven to 200C/200C fan/gas 7.
  11. Lightly oil a non-stick baking tray and heat until hot. Put the Wellington on the tray and bake for 25 mins (35 mins for well done). Remove from oven, brush immediately with extra egg and rest for 15 mins.
  12. When ready to serve, cut generous slices with a sharp serrated knife and serve with a good quality gravy and seasonal vegetables of your choice.