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Irish Independent and Evening Herald

8 All Wrapped Up Christmas

gourmet this Christmas day

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Ben Murnane chats to top restaurateurs about spicing up your dinner this Christmas

ROAST VENISON, CARROT AND STAR ANISE, BEETROOT REDUCTION Serves 4 Hell’s Kitchen maitre d’ Nick Munier has been busy these past few months, setting up his own restaurant – Pichet on Trinity Street in Dublin – and appearing in his own TV show about it, Nick’s Bistro on TV3. Nick, along with his chef partner at Pichet, Stephen Gibson, suggest going gourmet this Christmas – with this rich and warming venison recipe. It’s the perfect choice for anyone looking to break with tradition on Christmas day – or a sumptuous feast on any chilly winter’s night!

Ingredients:

For marinade:

4 x 150g venison loin 4 sprigs of thyme 2 juniper berries 200g carrots 2 star anise 20g butter 100ml chicken stock 4 beetroots, peeled 200ml red wine 30ml white sugar 50ml Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar 1 bay leaf 1 sprig of thyme 50ml olive oil Method: 1. Marinate the venison loins with the

crushed junipers and thyme for 12 hours. 2. Peel the carrots and dice them, sweat off in large pot with the star anise and

Stephen Gibson and Nick Munier

butter. Add the chicken stock and simmer until tender, then puree. 3. Wash the beetroot and cook for 30 minutes in red wine, sugar, vinegar, the bay leaf and thyme. Remove from the liquid and peel, then slice into 1cm-thick pieces. 4. Reduce the cooking liquid to a syrup and then add the olive oil. 5. Pan-roast the venison until medium rare (approx 10 minutes), leave to rest for five minutes. 6. Reheat the beetroot in the vinaigrette. 7. To serve, slice the venison into three, spoon carrot on the side along with the beetroot and drizzle vinaigrette around.

RICHARD CORRIGAN’S CHRISTMAS TURKEY TIPS

Pichet Café/Bar/Restaurant 14-15 Trinity Street Dublin 2 Tel: (01) 677 1060 Web: www.pichetrestaurant.com

Nick’s Bistro is on Mondays at 8pm on TV3

BRONZE IS BETTER Bronze turkeys are the traditional American breed of turkey. They get their name from the metallic greenbronze colour of their feathers. They produce a better meat-tobone ratio than white turkeys, and are considered to be tastier. At McEvoys’ Farm, the turkeys are reared slowly over the course of six months to achieve the best quality of meat. They spend every day outside and are fed a diet of free-range meal, home-grown wheat, grassherbs, nettles, dandelions, clover, cabbage and apples. Their environment and their diet make the meat very moist. Bronze Turkeys McEvoys’ Farm Bodenstown, Sallins Co Kildare Tel: 045 875316 / 087 2342389 Email: bronzeturkeys@gmail.com Web: www.bronzeturkeys.ie

■ A 5-6kg turkey is the ideal family size. Bronze turkeys are the tastiest breed. Make sure the giblets are included so you can make beautiful gravy! ■ Always take your turkey from the fridge and leave to stand for about 15 minutes before placing in the hot over. This reduces the cooking time by bringing the turkey to room temperature. ■ Season your turkey with salt, pepper and a smithereen of fresh, salted butter. Cook at 180°C for 30-40 minutes, then bring the temperature down to 170°C. Cook for another 45 minutes and then, switching off the oven, let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before cooking some more. The overall cooking time should be about two hours and 15 minutes. Then rest the turkey in the hot oven for another 15-20 minutes. ■ If you’re not sure whether or not your turkey is done, always cut the leg. It should be a clean cut, the juices free-flowing and clear, with no blood. There’s nothing worse than an overcooked turkey on Christmas Day! Michelin-starred chef Richard Corrigan’s Bentleys is at 22 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. www.bentleysdublin.com. Richard’s latest book, The Clatter of Forks and Spoons, is available in all good bookshops.


Go gourmet this Christmas Day