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Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Venison with Crushed Artichokes and a Violet & Pomegranate Sauce, by Pascal Aussignac

16 December 2011
Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Venison with Crushed Artichokes and a Violet & Pomegranate Sauce, by Pascal Aussignac

INGREDIENTS 1 prepared venison fillet, 350-400g
2tsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed
3tbs grapeseed oil
4tbs chilli jelly, ideally Gascon-style (hot and spicy)
2tbs pomegranate molasses or syrup
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and Espelette pepper
Fresh lemon juice
2tsp plain flour
4tbs violet syrup
A knob of butter

For the crushed artichokes 400g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled
Fresh lemon juice
2tbs chopped fresh dill
A little olive oil

To serve 4 heads pak choi
½ punnet fresh blueberries
A few fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)

METHOD Sprinkle the venison with the fennel seeds and plenty of ground black pepper in a shallow dish then drizzle with grapeseed oil. Cover and marinate for about an hour.

Meanwhile, cook the artichokes in salted water to which you have added a good squeeze of lemon juice. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until tender. Pour off and reserve 200ml of the cooking water in another pan; drain the rest and set the artichokes aside.

Return the artichoke water to the boil and mix in the chilli jelly, molasses, seasoning, including Espelette, and another squeeze of lemon. Stir the flour to a thin paste with a little cold water and briskly whisk into the hot liquid. Boil until reduced by two-thirds and stir in the violet syrup. Check the seasoning - the flavour should hover between spicy and sweet.

To finish the artichokes, crush with a fork, adding seasoning, including Espelette, plus the dill and a dash of olive oil.

Peel the outer leaves of the pak choi and chop or shred. Stir these into the artichokes. Slice each pak choi in half lengthways.

When ready to serve, heat a frying pan with the butter and when hot add the venison fillet, complete with the crushed spices. Turn in the pan frequently, basting it in the juices until browned on the outside and slightly pink inside, about 15 minutes or so.

Remove from the heat and allow to rest while you fry the pak choi for 2-3 minutes in a little more hot olive oil, seasoning lightly.

Finally, reheat the artichokes and sauce. Lightly crush the blueberries and season with some black pepper. Spoon the artichokes on to four warmed plates, and sprinkle with the blueberries and pomegranate seeds, if using.

Slice the venison into medallions and divide between the plates. Drizzle with the sauce and surround with the pak choi.

Pascal Aussignac, chef-patron, Club Gascon

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