Venison in White Wine, Nigella Lawson, HOW TO EAT, PG 111


I don’t think I have ever eaten Venison – at least not in its pure form like this unless in a gourmet sausage of some description or perhaps mixed with other meats in a pie. I would not recognise the flavour of Venison as a result of this so was looking forward to making this dish.

 I had to do quite a bit of pre-preparation and was glad that I had saved this for s Sunday dinner meal. I firstly had to marinate the venison in a white wine marinade with onion, carrot, garlic, juniper berries and pepper for the day. Then I had to make a very sticky caramelised onion and porcini mushroom mixture onto which the marinated Venison was added and then a beef stock and the wine in which the Venison had marinated (with all the solids strained out). This was then slow cooked for 2.5 hours. Following this stretch of cooking, pre pan fried mushrooms were added along with Parsley on serving. 

What resulted from this was a super rich, deeply flavoured and coloured casserole which was a perfect meal for a freezing cold evening meal. The Mushrooms added a rounded flavour and the caramelized onions and Mushrooms added sweetness to an already sweetly flavoured meat. I could only eat a small portion of this as it was so rich in flavour and depth, my husband ate a larger portion and I think if you like a dish bursting with rich flavours then this is a great dish. My husband also had the right mind in having fresh bread alongside the meat and juices as oppose to rice which is what I had with it. Mashed potato would be good too, however I do think the fresh warm rustic wedge of bread with the richness of the meat compliment each other perfectly. I think I will also be a bit mindful of the amount of time I slow col this for when I do this again. I probably cooked it for nearer 3 hours and I think the meat was a little dry. It just had that after- texture of slight floweriness. Venison is a lean meat so I imagine this is why it was dry. I also have leftovers so may try this in a couple of days time to see if its matured in flavour a little and perhaps moistened the meat more. 

This was by no means a low calorie dish although Venison is very lean, I do think that once you add in all the pan frying of the onions and the mushrooms and the wine, it perhaps is not the most sin-free dishes to have. I did pan fry the mushrooms in Butter Fry light though, and added less oil to the caremalisation process early on in the meal. The problem mainly with the dish is that this type of dish you have to have with a substantial carb side dish to mop up the gravy and meat, Its this which adds the calories to the meal. Once you add a velvety red wine to the menu which the meal needs of course, you have a days calorie requirements in one meal. 

My children did try this and at first seemed to enjoy the taste, however after a few chews of the meat decided that out was better than in and out the meat came! I imagine the flavours are just too strong for them and the texture of the meat is unusual to them. They did not outright say it was horrible and neither did I have any gagging which I have had from both of them on introduction of Guacamole.

 7 and a half out of 10


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