Last Saturday, Tim and I held our first lunch at the Farm Kitchen for 2015. We welcomed a full house, and as always, at the end of the day were left feeling very grateful that those who chose to come and spend the day with us are always such great sports, so happy to meet and share a meal with new people and always so interested in the farm tour and what we do here at Mandagery Creek Venison HQ.
Our next lunch at the Farm Kitchen is on March 14 and we have ten spots left so please click here for more information and/or to book.
The menu was pretty simple and led by the beautiful produce of late summer, and as always with the Farm Kitchen, it’s important to me to source as much produce from this area as possible. Which, at this time of year is not hard to do. Stonefruit and many of the greens came from our own garden, the venison of course came from our farm, Olive oil was from Mum and Dad’s grove, and the rest of the greens plus all garlic came from my friend Libby Morgan’s incredible garden. I dropped in to see Libby on Friday morning, just as she was heading off to the Sydney farmers markets that weekend and she’d already collected bags of peppery rocket and mustard greens plus marigold, rocket and borage flowers. I also grabbed some garlic from the drying racks and then we picked a few armfuls of medlars, rose hip and bay from the garden for the table. Libby you are a good friend!
The next day, we kicked things off with an entree of seared venison carpaccio tossed with Libby’s rocket, radish, Second Mouse Quark and my pickled peaches. This was drizzled with Kimbri Olive oil and seasoned. That’s it – super simple but really delicious. We served this with warm garlic baguettes.
Here’s my recipe for those pickled peaches. They are great with grilled meats and/or a cheese plate. If the peaches are finished where you are, you could always swap the peaches with pears. Recipe below.
Spiced pickled peaches
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine the cider vinegar, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, peel the peaches (score a cross at the base of each then plunge into a saucepan of boiling water for a minute then remove, plunge into cold water and with a sharp little knife, pull back the skin, it should come away easily).
Halve the peaches then gently remove the stones and cut into quarters. Add these to the pickling liquid and simmer for five minutes only. Any more and you’ll lose the fruit’s beautiful golden colour and the quarters might start to collapse.
Transfer to sterilised jars and wait for a few weeks before using if possible. Makes two large jars, keeps for up to a year.
For the main we had kipflers tossed in nasturtium pesto, then shaved zucchinis in a minty/lemony dressing and seared veninson backstrap on a bed of red capsicum/walnut and pomegranate puree. Yummo.
For the venison
Simply rub the fillet with olive oil and season well and cook for six minutes on each side on a hot barbecue (for a backstrap, three minutes on each side for a tenderloin). Let rest then slice into 1cm thick medallions.
For the capsicum puree
Roast three red capsicums (halved and de-seeded) until completely collapsed and beginning to caramelise. Place these in a food processor with 3 cloves peeled and roughly chopped garlic, juice of one lemon, 2 tbs pomegranate molasses, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tbsp paprika, 1/2 tsp dried chilli and a few good glugs of olive oil. Blitz until well combined then throw in 1/2 cup toasted walnut kernels and the same amount of breadcrumbs. Blitz again and season to taste – you might like to add more lemon juice, more pomegranate or just another good pinch of salt. Makes about 2 cups.
For the zucchini salad
Shave three or four zucchinis with a mandolin or peeler and arrange in thin strips on a serving platter. Then place two handfuls of mint leaves, a couple of garlic cloves, the juice of a lemon (or more to taste) and a good tablespoon of dijon mustard all in a blender or food processor. Add a good few glugs of olive oil and blitz. Toss this dressing through the zucchini, really working it through each piece and finish with a sprinkling of toasted pepitas, sesame and sunflower seeds.