Friday 13 January 2012

Stuff the detox — here’s some grub with beer

Here’s something different: venison with Kriek sauce and Trappist mushrooms
I live on Exmoor where the red deer roam and provide sustenance for the table. Beer and food is slow to take off here but one of my locals offers beer choices on its menu, while I’m going to be working with a couple of other chefs in the area on developing a beer dinner (as well as a beer vs wine event). Who knows this particular favourite might end up on the table — the Chimay-marinated meat is flash fried and then served with a robust sauce based on Liefman’s Cuvee-Brut Kriek alongside mushrooms that have been cooked in the reduced marinade. I usually accompany this dish with Abbey de Roc’s rich and bittersweet brune or with my old standby Orval, a beer that brings so much to the table. Here goes then, if you do decide to do the menu and it works, call me Delia.

Four venison haunch steaks, 6-8 oz each
330ml bottle of Chimay Red
Juniper berries

8oz of mushrooms (if you can get wild mushrooms all the better)
Several fat cloves of garlic

330ml bottle of Liefman’s Cuvee-Brut
3 oz of brown sugar
7 fl oz of chicken stock
One shallot
Butter/olive oil

Marinate haunches in Chimay Red for up to eight hours, along with two/three crushed juniper berries. Keep marinade and pat meat dry with kitchen towel, put to one side. Sprinkle potatoes and parsnips with sea salt and roll in extra virgin olive oil before putting into oven to roast. Give mushrooms a quick fry in butter (or olive oil) with chopped up garlic cloves and add Chimay marinade; boil until reduced. Check for seasoning.

Meanwhile make sauce. Chop shallot and fry in small pan until soft and translucent. Add rest of ingredients in small pan and boil until it thickens. Check for seasoning. This should take four/five minutes.

When everything feels close to readiness flash fry the venison on both sides (use either butter or olive oil depending on your predilection, butter adds a nice sense of unctuousness though the reward for such extravagance is 40 extra crunches in the gym). I like my venison near raw and tender, but you might like it as charred as Joan of Arc at the stake. Sprinkle with the tiniest amount of sea salt. Place on plate with potatoes, parsnips and mushrooms, spoon sauce on the meat, pour beer and eat and drink to your heart’s content.

PS Another good dish to aid digestion during this dark and dank month would be cassoulet with Toulouse sausages, duck confit, pork and haricot beans topped with breadcrumbs — with this dainty feast I think I would pair several bottles of Hardcore IPA.

This is nothing to do with the recipe, being a nice display of meat
in a Prague shop windo, especially relevant given the news from Ceske Budejovice yesterday


  1. Perhaps a tangential link between the picture and the post, there are venison sausages in that window.

  2. I knew there had to be a reason for it, it’s a shop U Maleho Glena — I just fell in love with the display of cooked and cured meats

  3. I used to frequent U Maleho Glena fairly often. They did a lovely weekend brunch.

  4. Bit too smoky for my liking, though had a nice couple of mid afternoon PUs when I was there in November, prior to going to the ballet…which I had to go an see as it was part of my feature remit, but managed to escape at half time.

  5. It's almost impossible to get venison on the west coast of the USA, unless you shoot it yourself. Now, good IPA, that's a different story....