I've just about got time to enter the November In The Bag Challenge hosted this month by Scott at The Real Epicurean. This month's ingredient is game and I felt like making something with venison. I also felt like eating pasta and so this is the result. A simple enough recipe, but I've got to admit it takes a while to make, especially since you need to put the venison into the marinade the day before.
150 ml red wine
50 ml gin
30 ml blackberry vinegar
300 g venison – the sort sold for casseroles – cut into cubes of roughly 2.5 cm
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
70 g small pancetta or bacon chunks
3 tbsp tomato purée
A generous pinch of sugar
2 sprigs of rosemary, tied up in muslin
A squeeze of lemon
Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour over the venison. Cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
When the time's up, drain the venison, reserving the marinade. Pat the venison dry with paper towel. Gently fry the onion and carrot in a little oil for 10 minutes without colouring. Add the pancetta to the pan and continue frying for a few minutes until the fat begins to run. Increase the heat, add the venison and fry for 5 minutes. Pour in the reserved marinade, bring to the boil and let it bubble for a minute or two. Stir in the tomato purée, season with salt and pepper and add the pinch of sugar. Bury the rosemary package among the venison, cover the pan and simmer very gently for 1½ hours, stirring regularly. If the sauce seems to be drying up, then add a little water.
Once the meat is very tender, remove it from the sauce and chop it very finely. Discard the rosemary and return the venison to the sauce, which should be nice and thick by now. Make sure the meat is heated through, adjust the seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon.
Serve with tagliatelle or some pasta of that sort.