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Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche brings together the earthy notes of a woodland in winter with this venison and wild mushroom version of a classic boeuf bourguignon.
Words from the chef:
Venison is a great alternative to beef and during hunting season, which lasts from autumn to the end of winter, this is a perfect dish to make. Venison is a very lean meat and full of goodness, as deer eat only the best there is available. Their diet is superb and you can almost say they are difficult when it comes to choosing what’s on offer!
This version of the French classic is finished with dark chocolate, providing a hint of tobacco and bark which combines beautifully with the earthy flavour of the wild mushrooms and woody aroma of the star anise. To bring the dish together you need to use a robust red wine such as one from the Southern Rhône region that also has a hint of spice and chocolate; all in all a magical combination. I like to serve it with roughly mashed buttered swede or turnips.
Venison bourguignon with dark chocolate & star anise
- 800 g/1lb 12oz venison haunch cut into large cubes
- 1 l/35fl oz/4 cups red wine such as French Southern Rhône
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves crushed with the blade of a knife
- 1 star anise
- 3 tbsp Cognac
- 100 ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp plain all-purpose flour
- 600 ml/21fl oz/scant 2½ cups beef stock
- 1 bouquet garni made with 1 thyme sprig, 1 parsley sprig and 1 bay leaf, tied with kitchen string 2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthways and cut into chunks
- 12 silverskin onions
- 30 g/1 oz dark organic chocolate 70% cocoa solids, grated
- 100 g/3½ oz thick pancetta diced
- 2 handfuls of mixed seasonal wild mushrooms such as girolles, horn of plenty and chanterelles
- 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Mix together the venison, wine, thyme, garlic, star anise and Cognac in a large bowl. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Drain the venison through a colander into a bowl, reserving the flavoured marinade.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the venison and cook for at least 20 minutes until very well coloured on all sides but not burnt. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for a further 2–3 minutes until the meat is lightly coated. Add the stock and the reserved marinade and bring to the boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the bouquet garni, carrots and onions, turn the heat down to low, partially cover and simmer for 1 hour 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is rich and silky.
- Five minutes before the venison is ready, remove 2 ladles of the sauce into a bowl. Whisk in the chocolate until melted and combined. Return the chocolate flavoured sauce to the casserole dish, stir together well, then cover it with a lid and turn off the heat.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat. Add the pancetta and fry for 2–3 minutes until just coloured, then stir in the wild mushrooms and fry for a further 1–2 minutes until just tender. Add to the venison and stir through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the parsley, taking care not to break up the venison, and serve.
Extracted from French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche.
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