Venison stroganoff with rosemary-salted chips
PUBLISHED: 15:26 06 April 2016 | UPDATED: 15:26 06 April 2016
A seriously tasty twist on a classic; this venison stroganoff is hearty, warming, and easy as pie to make
I first made beef stroganoff about five years ago, following a Rick Stein recipe that I found online. Of course, I had tasted the dish before, but I hadn’t realised how simple and tasty it could be. Since then I have made it on many occasions, tweaking it to my own tastes, and writing my own recipe in the process.
Rick recommends serving the dish with moreish matchstick potatoes – small, fine, crunchy sticks of potato that sit like a golden pile of chopped-up straw on the plate – delicious, but I found that I preferred something a bit more substantial, so I make my chips longer and thicker. They are still golden and crunchy, but they feel less like angel hair and more like a proper chip!
If you don’t own one already, I would highly recommend that you get yourself a mandoline. It is a great tool for slicing vegetables very finely, and if you buy one that comes with attachments, you can use it to cut batons as well. In this recipe, I used my mandoline to slice the onions and mushrooms, and to cut the chips, making the prep very speedy. (I also find it invaluable when faced with a big pile of spuds needing to be sliced for dauphinois potatoes!)
You do have to be extremely careful when using one of these gadgets, and always use the safety guard; the blade is lethal. You can pick up a decent one for about £10 in shops or online.
I have to confess that this was the first occasion that I had made stroganoff with venison – and I can’t see myself going back to using beef. The meat was so tender, and the flavour of the venison worked really well with the earthiness of the mushrooms.
There wasn’t much talking going on between my fellow diner and I as we devoured the fruits of my labour, but, between hasty mouthfuls, we did acknowledge that we could almost convince ourselves that we’d been out that very morning, picking wild mushrooms in some alpine forest; the fresh mountain air still clinging to our clothes.
Preparation and cooking time: 30-45 mins
For the rosemary salt:
✦ ½ tbsp sea salt
✦ 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
For the chips:
✦ 450g floury potatoes, peeled
✦ sunflower oil for deep frying
For the stroganoff:
✦ 65g butter
✦ 2 tbsp paprika
✦ 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
✦ 300g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
✦ 3 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
✦ 4 venison haunch steaks (about 600g), sliced into strips, approx. 1cm thick and 1cm wide
✦ 300ml soured cream, 2 tsp Dijon mustard
✦ ½ lemon, a large handful of finely chopped parsley, salt and pepper
1. To make the rosemary salt: Use a pestle and mortar to bash up the salt and rosemary until you have a coarse powder. Pass through a sieve to remove any large pieces of salt/rosemary, then set aside.
2. Slice the potatoes into batons (approx. 5mm thick), either by hand or using a mandoline. Place in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
3. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan.
4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the paprika and onions and fry over a low heat until the onions are soft, but not browned.
5. Once the sunflower oil has reached 190°C, remove the potato batons from the water and dry thoroughly on a clean tea towel. Carefully drop the batons into the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes, or until golden brown in colour. (You may need to do this in batches.) Drain on a piece of kitchen paper. Place in a low oven to keep warm.
6. Once the onions are soft, add the mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes.
7. Remove the onion mixture from the pan and place in the low oven to keep warm.
8. Using the same pan that you cooked the onions and mushrooms in, heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil until it is very hot.
9. Season the venison strips, then add half to the hot pan and fry for about one minute. Remove and place on a plate. Repeat with the rest of the oil and venison.
10. Return the onion mixture to the pan, add the mustard and pour in the soured cream. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about one minute, until thickened.
11. Tip the venison into the pan, along with any resting juices, and heat through gently for one minute. This is just to reheat the meat; it should not be cooked any further.
12. Stir through the parsley and add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Taste. Add more lemon juice and season, if necessary. Serve with the chips, sprinkled with the rosemary salt.