Venison Wellington with Celeriac and Potato Dauphinoise
400gFillet of Venison
100gThinly Sliced Pancetta
2Sprigs of Thyme
1Packet of Ready Rolled Shortcrust or Puff Pastry
For the Celeriac and Potato Dauphinoise
Salt and Pepper
Pinch of Nutmeg
Lucinda Hamilton creates a Venison Wellington
For the wellington stuffing:
Peel and cut the artichokes into small cubes. Cut the celery sticks in half (lengthways) and slice as thin as possible. Cut the pancetta into thin slices.
Put some oil in a pan and on medium heat fry the pancetta, artichokes, celery and thyme until they are all softened and caramelized and a bit mushy. The more you cook the artichokes, the sweeter and softer they become, so do not rush this stage. Once you have achieved desired consistency, leave to cool. (This can be made a day in advance.)
To prepare the venison:
Season the venison fillet with pepper and salt and spoonful of good olive oil and a few thyme leaves, let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Heat a heavy duty frying pan (or griddle pan) until smoking and very hot. Sear the venison fillet on all sides until it looks nicely browned (this should take a couple of minutes on each side – you do not want to cook the meat, just seal off the sides). Put it in the fridge in order to stop the meat cooking any further. Once it has cooled down, remove the pastry and the meat from the fridge.
Unroll the pastry and place it on a nonstick baking sheet or on some baking paper. Smear some of the artichoke mixture on the pastry about the size of your fillet. Place your fillet on top and cover it with the rest of the artichoke mixture, making sure all sides are covered.
Cut the pastry to size and paint the edges with egg wash and seal the meat and stuffing in. Turn the wellington over so that the pastry seals are underneath. You can use the leftover bits of pastry to cut out some hearts or stars or any shape you would like and place on top of the wellington. Brush the whole lot with egg wash, put in fridge until ready to cook.
An hour or so before you want to eat, heat the oven to 190°C. Remove the wellington from the fridge and cook in the oven for 30 minutes (if you like your meat on the rare side) or for 40 minutes (if you like it a little less rare!). Leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
Cut and serve with the Potato Dauphinoise and any vegetables of your choice.
For the Celeriac and Potato Dauphinoise:
Heat oven to 190°C. Peel the potatoes and the celeriac. Slice into as thin slices as possible (using a mandolin if you have one).
Butter an ovenproof baking dish. Place alternate layers of potato and celeriac in the dish.
Mix the cream, crushed garlic clove and seasoning together.
Pour over the potatoes and celeriac until all covered.
Place in oven and cook for about 45 minutes until the top is bubbling and nice and brown.
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