And just before getting to the recipes, I also wanted to write a quick thank you to the lovely Pip, (pictured below with Tim). Pip helped in the kitchen and aside from being a wonderful photographer, has a background in catering. Her help and kitchen chat was awesome.
Braised red cabbage with apple and fennel
Serves 6 (as a side dish)
This is just gorgeous with pretty much any grilled meat, but especially our venison…
1tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, peeled and diced
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, finely sliced (I used a mandolin)
1/2 red cabbage, finely sliced (again with the mandolin)
140mls verjuice (we used Orange Mountain’s Caramelised Verjuice)
Toast the fennel seeds in a hot, dry casserole dish until aromatic. Add the onions and the olive oil and cook, on a gentle heat, until soft and translucent (about five minutes). Add the apples and cook for a further few minutes. Tip in the cabbage, stir until well combined and add the verjuice. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for one hour (stirring every now and then).
Seared venison tenderloin
1 x Mandagery Creek Venison tenderloin (about 380g)
Sea salt and pink peppercorns
Preheat oven to 200C or light a barbecue with a cover and heat well. Crush the pink peppercorns and rub these, with the sea salt, all over the venison. Set aside to reach room temperature.
If cooking on the barbecue – ensure it is hot as possible then cook for about 4 1/2 minutes on each side then let rest under a tent of foil for five minutes before slicing across the grain and serving with the above cabbage.
If cooking in the oven, heat a little more olive oil in an oven-proof saucepan and place over high heat. Cook the tenderloin for one minute on each side, until well seared and then either place in the oven for four minutes. Remove from heat and let rest under a tent of foil. Slice across the grain and serve.
Pears poached in zinfandel
Easy, pretty and delicious; these pears are great on their own (with a little vanilla ice cream), but even better next to the below chocolate cake.
1 x 750ml bottle zinfandel (we used Cargo Road Wines’ sparkling Zinfandel)
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of two oranges
1/2 cup sugar
6 firm Beurre Bosc pears
Combine the zinfandel, water, vanilla and sugar in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile peel the pears (leaving them whole), and gently lower into the warm poaching liquid. Cover with a layer of baking paper (to protect against discoloration) and simmer for about 25 minutes.
The River Cafe’s Easy Chocolate Nemesis
340g dark chocolate 70 per cent
225g unsalted butter
210g caster sugar
Preheat oven to 120c. Using the extra butter, grease a 25cm cake tin and line with parchment paper. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt with the butter in a bowl over simmering water. Beat the eggs and 70g of the sugar in a electric mixer until the volume quadruples.
Heat the remaining sugar with 100mls water until dissolved into a light syrup. Pour the hot syrup into the melted chocolate and cool slightly. Add the chocolate to the eggs, and beat slowly until the mixture is combined. Pour into the tin.
Put a folded kitchen cloth in the bottom of a baking tray. Put in the cake and add enough hot water to come three-quarters of the way up the side of the tin. Bake for 50 minutes until set. Leave the cake to cool in the water before turning out.