Venison Stroganoff with Celeriac and Apple Salad
Put a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with a knob of ghee. Throw in the onions and toss them around. Keep the pan moving and fry until browned. Meanwhile, toss the venison pieces in the paprika.
When the onions have browned, remove and set aside. Add a bit more ghee, then add the venison pieces. Turn the heat up to full and brown. When browned, remove the venison and put it with the onions. Then repeat the process for the mushrooms.
When the mushrooms have browned, put the venison and onions back into the pan and add the sour cream (or crème fraîche). Bring to the boil then put a lid on and turn off the heat.
For the salad, first put all of the dressing ingredients into a clean jam jar and shake. This is a great basic dressing for all occasions, the brown brogue of food.
Peel the celeriac, then slice it thinly into matchstick-size pieces. Throw into a bowl with a little of the dressing. Then slice the apple, leaving the peel on, into thin slices. Quickly add to the bowl and toss in the dressing to stop it from browning. Finally, add a few chopped hazelnuts and serve.
f you are a bit of a foodie, this is an opportunity to show off your farm shop deli find of fantastic paprika in a cool tub.
The only variation between this stroganoff and any other is the protein. So if you fancy it, swap the venison for the traditional beef or try pigeon, pheasant, rabbit – whatever, really. It is a great recipe for lean meats, so perfect for the game, and the spiciness is more a familiar flavor than a game to the modern palate. It works well as a gateway recipe to explore the wonderful high-quality, thrifty world of the game.
“There are loads of stories as to the origins of this dish. The one I like the most, and the one that is most appropriate for the Girevik Chef (my professional alter-ego), is that it was created for Pavel Stroganov.”
I have left the recipe pretty traditional but changed the accompaniment. Matchstick potato fries are a popular side dish for stroganoff. Although I don’t think potatoes or fats are the devils, increasing the surface area of a starchy vegetable to ensure it absorbs as much fat as possible is a bit too far. So I have served it with a celeriac and apple salad that visually evokes the matchstick fries, but also brings the lovely combination of fruit and game to the table.
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