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Fillet of red deer Wellington with haggis, girolles and bashed neeps serves 8 Initially I was going to include a recipe for the more traditional beef Wellington. However, having researched the origins of the dish there were many differences of opinion. I had always assumed it was named after the Duke of Wellington, which seems to be the general consensus. Clarissa Dickson Wright, however, claims the dish was invented for a civic reception in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Now being a Kiwi, I automatically wanted to back Clarissa, out of pure pride, but in an effort to delve deeper and be sure, I only encountered dead ends. I resorted to sending my mum a message to ask her opinion. She was unsure of the dish’s origin but went on to explain that when we were kids she used to cook ‘beef Verberne’ using a minced beef farce for the Wellington as we couldn’t afford the luxury of beef fillet. I finally decided that rather than take the conventional route, I’d come up with a Scottish version of the dish. Being a huge fan of haggis, I personally prefer this one to the original. When you purchase the red deer from your butcher, ask for a piece of striploin cut from the centre so it doesn’t taper at one end. This will ensure the cooking is even over the length of the Wellington. The recipe for the Savoury Pancakes does in fact make eight and you only need four for this recipe, but you will need to make the full quantity of batter as it’s not good if made in smaller amounts. Simply store it in the fridge overnight and you’ve got pancakes for breakfast the next day.

1.6kg red deer striploin 100ml rapeseed oil 10 juniper berries, chopped 6 sprigs of thyme, leaves only, chopped 500g spinach, stalks removed 1kg good-quality haggis (We use Macsween’s) about 100g plain flour, for rolling out the pastry 1.2kg good-quality ready-made puff pastry 4 large thin Savoury Pancakes (see page 285) 8 egg yolks, beaten 30g butter 500g girolles, brushed clean 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley sea salt and freshly milled black pepper Bashed Neeps (see page 280), to serve 500ml Game Gravy (see page 295), to serve You will also need: a rolling lattice cutter (optional) With a thin-bladed filleting knife, trim any sinew from the striploin. If the sinew is left on, it will contract causing the loin to curl up when it is seared. Once the meat has been trimmed, in a small bowl, mix the rapeseed oil, juniper berries and thyme together and rub all over the meat. Place the meat on a plate and cover it with clingfilm. Allow it to marinate in the fridge overnight. The next day, leave the haggis out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature – you will find it less crumbly and easier to work with.

Preheat a large frying pan on a high heat. Carefully sear the marinated striploin until it is sealed well on all sides. This will help it to retain its juices while cooking so it won’t bleed and cause the pastry to go soggy. When the meat is seared, place it straight in the fridge to cool down quickly – it is easier to work with if cold. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach for a few seconds before plunging it into iced water so it retains its vibrant green colour. Drain the leaves in a colander and then lay them out in an even layer on a clean tea towel to dry. You now need to roll out the haggis to a sheet about 1cm thick and large enough to wrap around the striploin. The easiest way to achieve this is between 2 sheets of clingfilm. Lay the first sheet of clingfilm on your worktop and cut the haggis into slices about 2cm thick. Remove the casing from the haggis slices and lay them out on the clingfilm. Place another sheet of clingfilm over the top and with a rolling pin, roll out the haggis into an even layer about 1cm in thickness. Transfer the haggis carefully on to a large tray and set aside (not in the fridge). Dust your worktop with flour and with your rolling pin, roll out two thirds of the pastry into a rectangle of a suitable size to wrap your Wellington (roll it large enough to allow for any trimming as well). Save the remaining pastry for the decorative lattice. When rolling the pastry, rub the rolling pin with a little continued on page 204

game

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continued from page 203 flour so it doesn’t stick, and turn the pastry over a couple of times, dusting with more flour, to keep it from sticking to the work top. To build the Wellington, cut the rounded edges off each pancake to make squares and lay them on the pastry like tiles. Lift the tea towel containing the spinach and carefully turn the spinach out in a neat layer over the pancakes. Remove the top layer of clingfilm from the haggis and carefully lay it out over the spinach, pulling off the rest of the clingfilm once it is in place. Patch up any holes as you go. Place the striploin in the very centre of the layers so you are looking across it, not down its length. Calculate how much pastry you will need to wrap the meat and trim off any excess before you start, making sure the pastry at the top of the work top, furthest from you, slightly extends the layers of pancake, spinach and haggis. Using a pastry brush, brush this strip of pastry with the egg yolk so when you wrap the Wellington it acts as a glue to stick the two layers of pastry together. Lift the pastry and all the layers on the side closest to you, carefully over the meat. Repeat the process with the side furthest from you lifting it towards you, stretching it over and sticking it down as tightly as possible. With a pair of kitchen scissors, trim the pastry at each end round as far as the work top, but leaving a rectangular flap of pastry at the bottom. Brush these flaps with the egg yolk and stretch them over each end of the Wellington, sealing it neatly.

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The side of the Wellington facing you with all the seams of joining pastry is the underside. Your next step is to carefully roll the Wellington over on to a baking tray covered with a layer of non-stick baking parchment. Once the Wellington is sitting the right way up on your tray, look down the length of it, and using both hands, tuck any loose pastry underneath in an attempt to tighten it. Brush the Wellington all over with egg yolk and set it to one side. Dust the work top with flour and roll out the rest of the pastry into a length slightly longer than the Wellington and slightly wider than the width of your lattice roller. Dust the lattice roller with a little flour so it doesn’t stick then roll it firmly along the length of the pastry. If you don’t have a lattice roller you could get creative with your pastry decoration using a small knife to cut leaves or what ever else takes your fancy. Stretch the pastry lattice over the Wellington to cover it completely, and trim the edges with kitchen scissors. Ensure the lattice is stuck fast to the Wellington and then brush with a final layer of egg yolk. Place your beautiful creation in the fridge to allow the pastry to relax for at least 30 minutes, before you bake it.

a very british cookbook

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4. Bake the Wellington for 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. Cover loosely with foil if the pastry is browning too much. If you have a temperature probe the core temperature should reach 35ºC for the deer to be medium-rare. If you don’t have a probe, pierce the meat with a metal skewer or a small pointed knife and touch it on the inside of your forearm; it should feel warm but not hot. When the Wellington is ready, remove it from the oven and rest it in a warm place for 8–10 minutes before carving. While the Wellington is resting, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the butter and cook the girolles gently. Season with salt and pepper and finish with the chopped parsley just before serving. Serve the Wellington with the girolles, bashed neeps and game gravy alongside.


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Taking aim (left) and ejecting the spent cartridges (this page).


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First published in Great Britain in 2013 by Absolute Press, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc Absolute Press Scarborough House 29 James Street West Bath BA1 2BT Phone 44 (0) 1225 316013 Fax 44 (0) 1225 445836 E-mail info@absolutepress.co.uk Website www.absolutepress.co.uk Text copyright © Marcus Verberne, 2013 Photography copyright © Lara Holmes, 2013, except inside cover, © Michael Potter and page 11, courtesy Roast Restaurant Publisher Jon Croft Commissioning Editor Meg Avent Art Director Matt Inwood Project Editor Alice Gibbs Editor Imogen Fortes Photographer Lara Holmes Props Styling Matt Inwood and Lara Holmes Food Styling Marcus Verberne Indexer Zoe Ross

The rights of Marcus Verberne to be identified as the author of this work have been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the prior permission of Absolute Press. A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library ISBN: 9781408193464 Printed in China by C&C Offset Ltd. A note about the text This book was set using Century. The first Century typeface was cut in 1894. In 1975 an updated family of Century typefaces was designed by Tony Stan for ITC.

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP www.bloomsbury.com


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From the Roast cookbook by Marcus Verberne

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