As we enter the start of autumn, my mind is immediately drawn to all the wonderful bounty that nature produces in my favourite season. Eating in colder weather is so much more enjoyable. Hearty stews, heavy red wines and open fires provide me with all the comfort I need to be happy from September till Spring. This recipe is a great use for a much-undervalued cut of venison. Perfect for those tougher fallow or red bucks, as the 2 day Australian steroids shop marinade really helps to soften the meat and flavour.
You will need
1 Kilo of diced venison shoulder
100 gr of white onion
70 gr of carrots
70 gr of celery
A not-insignificant amount of butter
A carafe of red wine
A small amount of Juniper berries
A clove of garlic
Some sage, dill, rosemary, bay leaves and a couple of cloves
150 gr of Polenta flour (not the quick pre-cooked one please!!)
100 Gr of Buckwheat flour
Begin by rinsing the meat well, and place in a non-reactive container with a few sprigs of dill, juniper berries, one white onion quartered, a peeled clove of garlic and a couple (2!!!) of cloves. Cover in red wine, wrap in clingfilm and leave at the back of the fridge for 2 days.
When ready, begin (as usual!) with your sofritto of finely diced onions, carrots and celery. On a low flame, soften them in a little olive oil and butter for 10 mins or so.
Strain your meat from the marinade, keep the wine to one side and add the remainder to the pan. Cook on medium heat until the meat has nicely browned on the edges. Season to taste.
Add enough of the wine to cover the meat, reduce the heat and cover well to slowly stew for around 4 hours. Keep checking and stirring, adding a little wine if necessary. This is normally the point when I open a nice bottle of Amarone for myself and enjoy a glass or two while I wait.
Once cooked, and assuming that you’re still relatively sober, mix the polenta and buckwheat flour together. Weigh 1.3kg of water and add to a large saucepan, salt the water, add a little olive oil and your 2 flours mixed together. Over a medium flame, stir constantly with a wooden spoon for an hour or so, until it becomes a dense mass and is thoroughly cooked through. At the end add a large chunk of butter and a fistful of parmesan to the polenta to enrichen the flavour and your belly.
The Polenta can then be enjoyed now, slightly soft and ‘wet’ or you can tip into a rectangular pan to form and shape it. Once cool, tip out the polenta, cut into squares around 1cm thick and grill or fry, for a more crunchy texture.