June 15, 2014

Venison with pomegranate molasses jus and citrus salad

The farmers’ market is on this weekend – YAY! I have some friends visiting Orange too and the excitement of showing them all the best Orange has to offer is palpable! Although I think we’re in for a cold rainy snap in the next day to shock us into the winter season after a run of sunny gorgeous days. It is at this point in the season when so many beautiful greens are available amongst other bright beaming produce. In Orange, NSW, right now there are autumn delights still available like apples, walnuts, rocket, persimmons and pomegranates marrying well with the start of the winter harvest of leeks, carrots, kale, parsnips and citrus. My taste buds must be on autopilot when the weather turns as I salivate for a hearty dish with a cornucopia of colour, heavenly juices and flavour; complemented with a stunning glass of (anti-oxidant rich – of course) red wine.

So my inspiration leads me thus far to a plate of lean protein packed venison accompanied with a pomegranate molasses jus (remember the molasses I made not so long ago?), a side of parsnip mash and a green leafy salad with a citrus dressing. This recipe takes about 30-40 minutes of preparation and totally worth it I say!

I sourced the venison from who else other than the local farmer Tim Hansen and his beautiful wife Sophie who run Mandagery Creek venison. Venison is one of the healthiest and sustainable foods you can eat; extremely lean, high in protein with many other nutrition benefits. You can read more about the farm here… http://www.mandagerycreek.com.au.

Venison close-up

Venison with pomegranate molasses jus (Serves 6)

1 kilogram venison – Backstrap or topside cut

1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons mixed peppercorns

1-2 Tablespoon sea salt

Pomegranate jus

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 carrot diced

3 shallots

2 tablespoons Pedro Ximenez sherry

4 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses

Parsnip mash

3-4 parsnips roughly chopped

1 potato roughly chopped

20 grams butter / 3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup milk / almond milk

Green leafy salad with citrus dressing

bunch of kale leaves; cavalo nero, curly, red russian all work well. Stems removed, washed well and sliced finely. Tip: roll the leaf up and slice/chiffonade finely.

1 large handful of rocket broken up into small pieces and washed well

1 large handful of butter lettuce leaves broken up into small pieces (or other soft mild tasting variety) washed well

1 leek (white part sliced very finely)

1 apple quartered and core removed (sliced finely)

2 persimmon halved and sliced (Fuju preferred variety)

1/2 cup of pomegranate arils (the jewels)

Optional: 1/2 cup of walnuts (toasted)

Citrus vinaigrette

4-5 tablespoons orange juice (juice from one orange)

2 tablespoons mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

zest from half a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Mortar & pestle the mixed peppercorns. Roll the venison in the salt and pepper and slice into 2cm pieces.

2. In a deep saucepan boil parsnip and potato for approximately 20-25 minutes until a knife slides in without crumbling. Drain, add butter / oil to pot and mash with milk, then set aside.

3. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Arrange leafy green salad ingredients in a bowl and toss through dressing. The persimmon and apple benefit by sitting in the dressing for a few minutes while you are preparing the meat.

4. In a frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on low-medium heat. Saute shallots and carrots for a few minutes until softened. De-glaze the pan with pedro ximinez sherry, add pomegranate molasses and set aside in jug.

5. Using the same pan, heat the olive oil for the venison on a medium-high heat and sear it on each side for 1-2 minutes or until just pink (as per image above). Pour jus over meat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes under some foil.

6. Re-heat parsnip mash, plate up with salad and venison…Voila!

Don’t forget to serve with a glass of Australian shiraz or cabernet sauvignon, we enjoyed a brilliant Barossa red!

Enjoy!

Venison with pomegranate molasses jus and green leafy salad citrus dressing

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