Roast cauliflower with venison, haggis and gamekeeper's sauce
Saturday 17 January 2009
Thick, roasted slices of cauliflower are a great serving idea for all sorts of meat, game and offal – instead of using a slice of toast. You can even keep this recipe completely veggie and top the cauliflower with seasonal wild mushrooms. Make sure you leave the core of the cauliflower so it doesn't fall apart.
I've used the venison saddle under-fillets here but you could use the tender inner muscle from the haunch or the fillets off the saddle itself.
1 medium-sized cauliflower, trimmed of its outer leaves (see bratwurst recipe below)
A couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil for frying
4 x 120-150g venison fillets
4 x -¾ cm thick slices of haggis
For the sauce
1 small onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
A good knob of butter
tbsp of plain flour
tsp tomato purée
100ml red wine
250ml hot beef stock
A couple of wee drams of whisky
First make the sauce: gently cook the onion in the butter for 2-3 minutes without colouring. Stir in the flour and stir on the heat for a minute then add the tomato purée. Gradually stir in the red wine followed by the hot beef stock to avoid lumps forming, bring to the boil, season and simmer very gently for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened, then add the whisky and simmer again till thickened. If it's getting too thick, add a little water or continue simmering if it's too thin, season to taste.
Meanwhile, cut a little off the top and bottom of the cauliflower then slice into 4 x 1-1 cm thick slices. Bring a pan of water to the boil and simmer the cauliflower for 6-7 minutes until tender but not falling apart. Carefully drain and refresh in some cold water then drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat a large, heavy, preferably non-stick frying pan with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. Fry the slices of cauliflower for about 3-4 minutes on each side, adding a good knob of butter towards the end of cooking to give them a golden finish, then keep warm in a low oven.
Heat a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil in another heavy frying pan, season the venison fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness, keeping them nice and pink. Remove from the pan and keep warm. In the same pan, fry the haggis on a high heat in a little vegetable oil for a couple of minutes on each side.
To serve, place the cauliflower in the centre of warmed serving plates, place a slice of the haggis on top, then slice each piece of venison into 3 or 4 pieces and lay on to the haggis and pour the sauce around.
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