15 February 2009

Jamie At Home

I’ve watched Jamie Oliver since he was “naked”. I love the way he works with food. He likes to cook with a wreckless abandon that is infectious. Of course there is always someone standing by to parcel out the exact amounts while he is throwing recipes together. I once bought a copy of one of his books and the woman at the counter said she didn’t like him. She objected to the very abandon that I love, and of course she thought he talked "funny.”

Since I have a lot of venison this year, I have been interested in venison recipes. Oliver’s new book, Jamie at Home, is built around his garden and the vegetables and game from the English hedgerows. As always, a television show accompanied the book. Recently the Food Network has been airing the show at 7:30 am. Last week he made his venison stroganoff. Unlike the recipe in his book, on the show, he made the venison with a single large chicken in woods mushroom. He cooks with a flexibly that makes him great.

I had the venison, but I didn’t have “mixed, exciting, robust mushrooms.” All I had were dried mushrooms, but I rehydrated a cup and they worked fine. I left off the parsley, as I had none. If Jamie had been in West Virginia, he would have probably done the same. Everything came together just fine. In his recipe he calls for a white rice to serve under the stroganoff. I’m sure you can make rice so I omitted that part of the recipe.

Wild Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff for Two Lucky People

extra virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopper
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
300 g venison loin, fat and sinews removed, trimmed and sliced into finger-sized pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika
250 g mixed ,exciting, robust mushrooms wiped clean, torn into bite sized pieces
small bunch of fresh flat leafed parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped, stalks finely chopped
a knob of butter
a good splash of brandy
zest of 1/2 lemon
150 ml crème fraiche or sour cream
a few gherkins sliced

Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and pour in a glug of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 10 minutes until softened and golden. Remove from the heat and spoon the onions and garlic out of the pan on to a plate. Keep to one side.

Season the meat well with salt pepper and the paprika. Rub and massage these flavourings into the meat. Place the frying pan back on the high heat and pour in some more olive oil. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until they start to brown. Then add the meat and fry for a minute or two before adding the parsley stalks and the cooked and onion and garlic. Toss and add the butter and brandy.

You don’t have to set light to the hot brandy, but flaming does give an interesting flavour so I always like to do this. Once the flames die down, or after a couple of minutes of simmering, stir in the lemon zest and all but 1 tablespoon of the crème fraiche and season to taste. Continue simmering for a few minutes. Any longer than this and the meat will toughen up – it doesn’t need long, as it has been cut up so small.

Serve your fluffy rice on one big plate and your stroganoff on another. Simply spoon the remaining crème fraiche over the stroganoff, then sprinkle over the sliced gherkins

Since Jamie wasn't with me, I had leftovers, so I guess my recipe was Dried Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff for One Lucky Person, Twice!

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