Venison shanks with baby beets, grain mustard and chestnuts
The shank of any animal has bags of flavour since it is a muscle that works hard and contains a lot of sinew that will give good flavour and substance to the sauce. Once cooked, the meat will nearly fall off the bone and make a delicious winter warmer.
2 fallow shanks (4 portions)
150g carrots (diced)
150g celery (diced)
100g leek (diced)
150g cooked chestnuts (whole)
12 baby beetroots (diced)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 litres venison or dark chicken stock
2 tsp grain mustard
1 tsp sage (finely chopped)
1 tbsp tomato purée
➤ Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
➤ Season the venison shanks with salt and pepper and then brown them over a high heat in a heavy-based frying pan.
➤ When the shanks have an even colour on all sides, remove them from the heat and place them into an ovenproof dish with a lid.
➤ Fry all the vegetables in the pan you used to brown the venison until coloured, then add the tomato purée and cook for 5–8 minutes before adding the stock and sage and bringing to the boil.
➤ Cover the shanks with the hot stock and vegetables, place the lid on the ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for 1½ hours or until meat is tender. Larger shanks could take slightly longer.
➤ Remove the shanks from cooking liquid and keep warm and covered so they do not dry out.
➤ Pass the stock through a fine strainer, retaining the vegetables which should be kept warm with shanks.
➤ Bring the liquid to the boil in a saucepan before adding the mustard and reducing by half.
➤ Place the baby beetroots into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil until tender. Refresh and peel the beetroots.
➤ Sauté the chestnuts in the butter until warmed through.
➤ Reheat the baby beetroots by plunging them into boiling water before draining them and tossing them in melted butter.
➤ Place the shanks in a serving dish and cover with the hot sauce. Garnish with vegetables, baby beetroots and chestnuts.
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