Mark Hix recipe: Roast rack of deer with leek and potato stovies

Serves 4

Stovies are traditionally made with leftovers on the stove, rather like bubble and squeak. You can also add things like swede or parsnips to it if you wish.

A good game butcher should be able to cut you a French-trimmed rack of deer.

2 x 6-7 French-trimmed racks of deer
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Vegetable oil for frying
A good knob of butter
250g new potatoes, boiled in their skins, cooled then peeled
1tbsp chopped parsley For the sauce
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
2tsp flour
1tsp tomato purée
100ml red wine
250ml beef stock

First make the sauce: melt the butter in a thick-bottomed pan and gently cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well over a low heat for a minute.

Gradually add the red wine, stirring to avoid lumps forming, and then gradually add the beef stock. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for about 20-25 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by about two-thirds and thickened. Cover and keep warm. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.

Gently cook the onion in a little vegetable oil, covered, for 5-6 minutes, stirring every so often. Season, add a little butter and continue cooking uncovered, until they just begin to colour, then transfer to a bowl. Coarsely chop the potatoes and add to the onions and parsley, season and then mix well.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, preferably non-stick, add the mixture and shape it into a cake, pressing it with a spatula. Let the stovie cook for 4-5 minutes, until it begins to colour nicely underneath, then flip it over like a pancake. Alternatively, you can turn it out by inverting it on to a plate, then heating a little more oil in the pan and sliding the hash back into the pan. Cook for another 4-5 minutes.

While the stovie is cooking, season the deer rack, heat a roasting tray on the stove and brown the rack on both sides then roast in the oven for 15 minutes, keeping it nice and pink; then leave to rest for 5-6 minutes on a plate.

To serve, spoon the stovie on to warmed plates, slice the deer rack between each bone and arrange on the stovie; then spoon the sauce around.

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