At Wag n Bietjie Lodge the cuisine we prefer is the Venison Wellington, a recipe we adapted from the traditional Beef Wellington (from Chef Peter Ayub), by making use of the finest venison fillet. We have a preference for Gemsbuck fillet.
Recipe is per portion:
- 60 ml canola oil
- 160 g venison fillet at room temperature
- Salt and Pepper
- 50 ml finely chopped mushrooms
- 125 ml finely chopped fresh parsley, onions, and 30 ml garlic
- 1 large spinach leaf, blanched
- Ready-made puff pastry (you will get 4 portions out of 1 roll)
- Heat 30 ml of the canola oil in a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan over a high heat.
- Seal the fillet in the pan, turning so that all sides are seared and have a light brown colour. Season to taste, then take out the pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, heat the remaining oil and sauté the mushrooms and parsley-onion mixture for 2 – 3 minutes until the onions and mushrooms are soft. Season to taste. (This mixture is known as mushroom duxelle).
- Place the mushroom duxelle in a sieve or colander to cool and drain. Gently press down on the mixture to get more liquid out – you need to get as much of the liquid out of the mixture as possible, otherwise, it will cause the dish to be soggy and the pastry will be doughy.
- Spoon half the mushroom duxelle on the spinach leaf and place the fillet on top of the duxelle. Spoon the rest of the duxelle on top of the fillet.
- Cover the fillet by wrapping the spinach leaf over the fillet tightly, but be careful not to tear the spinach leaf. You should end up with a neat parcel.
- Roll out the chilled pastry slightly on a lightly floured surface, making sure there are not cracks. Use a lattice cutter to cut and shape the pastry. Wrap the puff pastry around the top of the spinach-covered fillet.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 220 °C for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. For this Venison Wellington, you want medium to medium-rare meat.
- Serve with seasonal steamed vegetables and a sauce of your choice.
Original Beef Wellington recipe from P, Ayub (2014). Sense of Taste. Human & Rousseau.