Burns Night is nearly upon us, and game specialist Wild and Game is suggesting a game spin on the traditional feast of haggis with neeps and tatties.
Founded in the West Country in 2017, Wild and Game is on a mission to champion the consumption of game, which is typically a low-carbon, low-impact food, and – in the case of venison – is produced by necessary culling of the animals in order to protect vegetation.
Because of this, a growing number of people are switching to venison from meats like lamb and beef – and they’re further encouraged by the fact that venison is a lean and uniquely flavoursome meat.
Wild and Game co-founder Steven Frampton said:
“The rich flavour of venison reflects the wild plants on which the animals feed, so makes it an excellent ingredient for home-made haggis. We’ve seen a rise in demand for venison over the past year as more people discover just how versatile and delicious it is.”
Venison and haggis Wellingtons with red wine gravy
1 pack of 4 Ben Rigby Venison tenderloins from Wild and Game
2 shallots, finely diced
4 slices prosciutto
1 pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
A knob or two of butter
For the gravy
A knob of butter
Half glass of red wine
2 tbsp Bramble jelly (seedless blackberry jam) or redcurrant jelly
500ml beef stock
1 tbsp cornflour
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, gas mark 6.
- Heat a knob of butter and a glug of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the two diced shallots until soft.
- Whizz the mushrooms in a food processor until they resemble mince.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until the water in them has been released and the mixture is quite dry.
- Add the haggis and stir, breaking it up, until all piping hot and combined. If there’s still moisture in the mixture, heat it for a bit longer.
- Heat a knob of butter and a glug of vegetable oil in a frying or sauté pan and cook the venison tenderloins on a high heat for 3 minutes, turning once. Remove and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
- Unroll the pastry and cut it into quarters. Top each quarter with a slice of prosciutto, leaving room at the edges.
- Top each prosciutto slice with a layer of the haggis and mushroom mix, then place a tenderloin on top of each and roll the pastry over it to form a parcel, with the tenderloin in the middle wrapped in the haggis mix and the prosciutto.
- Dab a little egg along one of the edges and press to seal. Cut a couple of holes in the top of each parcel and brush with more egg.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the gravy. Heat a knob of butter in a pan and fry the shallot until soft.
- Mix the cornflour with enough of the wine to make a smooth paste, then add the rest of the wine and stir until smooth and combined.
- Pour the wine into the pan and stir as it thickens
- Gradually add the stock, stirring in between, until you have a smooth sauce.
- Add the bramble or redcurrant jelly and stir, bubbling, until the jam has dissolved
- Strain through a sieve to remove the shallot.
- Serve the sauce with the Wellingtons and vegetables of your choice.
Venison haggis with roasted tatties and neeps and buttered kale
For the haggis
500g Wild and Game minced venison
300g lambs’ liver, chopped into small pieces
1 large onion, finely diced
1 tsp ground coriander
1-2 tsp ground black pepper depending on taste
Half a tsp ground nutmeg
Half a tsp ground allspice
1 tsp sea salt
A knob of butter
A glut of vegetable oil
2 tsp dried thyme
150g coarse oatmeal
500ml beef stock
For the tatties and neeps
400g swede, diced
550g potato, diced
5 tbsp vegetable oil plus a little to oil the baking sheet
A handful of fresh thyme
3 handfuls kale, coarsely sliced
- Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 225 degrees C.
- Meanwhile, heat the knob of butter and glug of oil in a casserole dish, Dutch oven or similar hob to oven lidded pan and fry the onion until soft.
- Add the liver and cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the liver and onion mixture to a food processor and briefly whizz until it’s finely chopped but not a paste.
- Return to the pan with a little extra oil and add the venison. Cook until browned.
- Add the nutmeg, thyme, allspice, coriander, salt and pepper and cook for a minute.
- Add the oatmeal and the stock and heat until bubbling.
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally, and while it’s cooking, start making the tatties and neeps (see below). After 10 minutes, remove the lid from the haggis and cook for a further 5 minutes with the lid off. The mixture should be quite dry by the end. When done, remove from the oven, adjust the seasoning and set aside while you complete the tatties and neeps. If you need to warm up the haggis later, you can do so on the hob.
- While the haggis is cooking, place the swede and potato in a pan of boiling salted water, bring to the boil and bubble for 5 minutes. Drain and leave in the colander for a minute of two to dry out.
- Put the swede and potato back in the pan and add the 5 tbsp of oil. Put the lid on the pan and shake until combined.
- Tip onto an oiled baking sheet, add the thyme, salt and pepper and place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally.
- Finally, steam the kale for 6 minutes, top with a little butter and serve with the tatties, neeps and haggis.
The Wild and Game website is at www.wildandgame.co.uk