Tag Archives: venison

My Autumn Salad- Venison & Pinot Noir.

I truly love Autumn, the slight chill in the air, the earthy smells as the leaves start to fall from the trees.  This year we were incredibly lucky with our beautiful summer and felt justified in having BBQ’s and salads nearly every day.

Into the back garden

Into the back garden

So I wanted to have an Autumn salad meal, as a transition between the two seasons.  Venison is lovely at any time of the year, but I think particularly comes into it’s own in Autumn, I use our own Seika Venison, grown on the farm.  I chose the pinot noir to accompany the dish as you can almost smell the autumn earthiness when you open the bottle.  The soft tannins complemented the St Tola Goats cheese in the salad also.

Vision Cono Sur

Cono Sur Single Vineyard Pinot Noir

With a salad using such bold ingredients I think it’s nice to have a dressing that both draws out the other flavours and brings the whole meal together.  I made a pinot reduction slowly with some of our own honey, the cherry character that finely touches the wine also goes well with the game.

The venison was pan-fried first as it benefits from resting for a time, and I then used the pan to flash fry the field mushrooms, this addition to my salad further encouraged the mouth feel of autumn, before finishing off the reduction.

Pan Fried Venison

Pan Fried Venison

Then it was just a matter if preparing the salad with the cheese., and the in season tomatoes.  I thinly sliced the venison, and served it warm with the Cono Sur Pinot Noir.

Venison Salad

Venison Salad

Perfection in a salad.  Perfect for a Monday. Who said salads were boring?

Family Weekend- The prodigal son returns

I was waiting for this past weekend for what seems like a lifetime.

In fact it was really only 5 weeks.  My eldest was returning from his time in Bolivia and Peru.  Nigel brought him back on the last leg from the UK and he arrived back early Saturday morning.  Although a little jet lagged, he is in great form.  I was VERY glad to have him home.

Not a great picture, but you get the jist!

Not a great picture, but you get the jist!

So we had decided to have a family party to celebrate his return, his belated 16th birthday, and Jordan’s 12th birthday.  It was a great weekend for it, we started in Kevin and Pam’s house Saturday for pizza night.  Pam’s Uncle and Aunt from Canada are staying too, and were delighted with all the commotion!

 

Pizza Night

Pizza Night

Then we went orienteering in Kennedy Park Sunday morning, it was the official opening of the permanent Orienteering course, and the prize giving for last seasons league, Jordan winning the Light Green.  As an aside, I’d a DREADFUL run, hoping I can improve before the Vets!

047 054 Then last night the dinner party.  I didn’t do starters (too many kids not wanting to wait for dessert), so had very slow cooked beef cheek and venison in oodles of red wine, served with creamy mashed potato, carrots and peas. Liisa very kindly made the aubergine dish, and Sue brought a fresh salad.

059 062 065Dessert included the cake:

A meringue surround, filled with a vanilla sponge base, and a milk chocolate and white chocolate mousse layer, topped with strawberries.

Pam made the most amazing apple and plum crumble, and Jordan had made her cookie dough brownies.

Sugar coma ensued!!

Meringue Cake

Meringue Cake

The candles

The candles

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Birthday Parties- and Cakes

We love having all of the family over for dinner when it’s a birthday occasion.  We hadn’t managed to do it for my 40th, so last Sunday we had a family get together for Nigel’s birthday.

Nigel is a big fan of pork, so after he managed to source two beautiful pork shoulders, we marinaded them in mustard, maple syrup and brown sugar on the Saturday night.

7 hr cooked maple marinaded shoulder

7 hr cooked maple marinaded shoulder

For starter I wanted to do something with the gorgeous venison that Ni’s brother provides, so I decided on trying my hand at a hot crust pastry, and filled it with slow cooked venison flank, cooked with wild mushrooms and chestnuts (and the obligatory red wine)

Flank of Venison, wild mushrooms, chestnuts and red wine

Flank of Venison, wild mushrooms, chestnuts and red wine

The finished product was very tasty indeed, I had made enough for everyone, not thinking the children would partake, but they ate every morsel, no leftover pies for Monday night!

Dessert was birthday cake of course, with a side offering of cake pops, with various toppings, the most popular of which were the popping candy.  I really enjoyed my first foray into cake pops, and will blog separately about this “journey”.  The birthday cake consisted of vanilla sponge filled with raspberries, blueberries and fresh cream.  And decorated with rosewater meringues.

Vanilla Sponge

Vanilla Sponge