Christopher’s birthday last year was on a Saturday, and the poor thing had to work all day, until 8pm. I felt very sorry for him, so I tried to make the most of it when he came home. After a trip to Borough Market I cooked up a feast consisting of Jerusalem artichoke soup with fried scallops, cream-baked pheasant with Hasselback potatoes and a nice cake with sponge, lemoncurd and elderflower cream.
Of course I had to try and top that this year, and I actually managed to do it. I don’t know why, but I appear to be in good cooking form around his birthday. This year he had the whole weekend off, and with a lunch and party planned for his birthday (Sunday), I cooked us a nice dinner on Saturday instead. As a starter we had yesterday’s post on mushroom toast, and as a maincourse we had a looovely venison steak with thyme and bacon (I found the recipe in a Swedish newspaper), perfect roast potatoes with cepes goose fat (you make cepes confit and use the goose fat that is left over – yum!) and a port sauce. Very good, if I may say so myself! We were both quiet during the meal apart from a few sighs of happiness. Chris said that the roast potatoes were the best he ever had. I curtsey. 🙂
Venison steak with perfect roast potatoes and port sauce, serves 4
800 g – 1 kg venison steak
10 slices streaky bacon
some olive oil
Maris Piper potatoes
a knob of butter
200 ml cream
200 ml milk
2 tbsp port
1-2 tsp rowanberry jelly (or other jelly)
a splash concentrated game stock
the meat juices
Smash the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and mix with fresh thyme leaves. Pat this into the meat and add salt. Cover the top of the steak with bacon slices, tuck the ends un underneath the meat. Place two bayleaves underneath the bacon. Pour some olive oil into a roasting dish and place the meat on it. Put a steak thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Put the tray in 150C for 1,5 hours. The inside temperature of the meat should be 70C when you remove the steak from the oven. Cover the meat with tin foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before you slice it.
Meanwhile peel the potatoes and cut them in half if they’re large, boil them for a few minutes in salty water. Drain. Put quite a lot of goose fat onto another roasting treay, put it in the oven to melt. Add the potatoes and make sure they are coated with the fat. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Put the tray in the oven, below the venison. When the venison is cooked, move the potatoes up in the oven and raise the temperature to 200C and let them brown while the meat is resting.
Pour the meat juices through a sieve. Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan on low heat, add flour, whisk around and add, cream and milk. Add some of the meat juice. Bring to a boil while whisking and add port, jelly, stock, salt, white pepper and colouring agent. Taste and maybe add some more meat juice.
Serve with vegetables, i.e. broccoli.