Delicious recipe for venison meatballs and polenta from Tom Kitchin

  • 1 hr 15 mins
  • 4
  • Medium
THE clocks changing last week means it’s getting darker earlier, with a definite chill in the air. Yet there’s something nice about November’s cosy nights in and delicious warming, comforting dishes enjoyed at home with family and friends. Autumn leaves and bright crisp mornings mean that nature brings us an array of colours, and also promises a variety of new ingredients to work with. Fresh fish that relish the cold Scottish waters, matched with hearty, earthy root vegetables and glorious, unbeatable game like venison, pheasant, partridge and mallard all make autumn’s dishes a joy to cook and eat. Venison is a wonderful game meat, and if you visit your local butcher or farmers’ market and pick up some fresh venison mince, you have the makings of a really speedy supper. Venison meatballs are a good alternative to beef, and matched with a rich red wine sauce and warming ingredients like cumin, cardamom and juniper berries, they make an ideal seasonal combination. Perfect to welcome you warmly back into the house from the cold this Bonfire Night.

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs
  • 560g venison mince
  • 60g breadcrumbs
  • 80ml whipping cream
  • 6 juniper berries, the seeds from 1 cardamom pod, 1g cumin seeds (all lightly toasted and finely ground)
  • salt and pepper
  • For the venison red wine sauce
  • 125g venison trimmings
  • 75g shallots
  • 1 small sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 375ml red wine
  • 2 litres veal jus
  • 25g butter
  • salt and pepper
  • For the polenta
  • 300g coarse polenta
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion (finely diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely diced)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 4 tbsp whipped cream (seasoned with salt and freshly grated nutmeg)
  • flat leaf parsley for a garnish

Method

 

Meatballs

Mix together all the ingredients thoroughly (either by hand or in an electric mixer using a paddle attachment). Mould into 20g meatballs (7 meatballs in a portion) and chill until ready to cook. To finish, sauté the meatballs in a non-stick pan until golden brown all over. Turn the heat down low and continue cooking until the meatballs are fully cooked in the centre. Then drain them of any excess fat and drop them into the venison sauce (see below).

For the venison red wine sauce

Pan roast the venison trimmings until well caramelised and drain any excess fat in a sieve. Pan roast the shallots until well caramelised and add them to the trimmings with the thyme, bay leaf and black pepper, and stir everything together briefly. Over a low heat add the white wine vinegar and reduce to a syrup. Add the wine and reduce to a syrup. Add the veal jus and bring to the boil, skimming away any excess fat or debris on the surface. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for one hour. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Chill until ready to serve. When serving, bring to the boil and stir in the butter to finish the sauce. Add the meatballs.

Polenta

Heat the chicken stock in a pan and keep warm. Sweat the diced onion and garlic in the olive oil in a heavy-based pan until soft. Add the butter and stir briefly to melt. Add the polenta and stir through the butter and onion to coat the grains. Turn the heat down low and add the warm stock gradually, whisking the mixture continuously. Keep cooking until the grains are softened, with little “bite” left. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the seasoned whipped cream to create a “marbled” effect, and serve with the meatballs and sauce, garnished with the parsley.

 

About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin

Tom Kitchin is a Scottish chef and owner of restaurant The Kitchin, where he became the youngest winner of a Michelin star. He has previously worked with several Michelin starred chefs including Alain Ducasse and Pierre Koffmann.