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Venison Wellington with spring peas

Pull out all the stops with this decadent venison Wellington, served with a summery pea salad.

Ingredients

For the rough puff pastry
For the pancakes
For the chicken mousseline
For the mushroom duxelle
For the lemon oil
For the pea purée
  • 200g/7oz frozen peas

  • 100ml/3½fl oz water

  • pinch chicken boullion (powdered stock)

  • few baby spinach leaves

For the pea salad
For the fruit brandy sauce
For the Wellington

Preparation method

  1. For the rough puff pastry, rub the butter, flour and salt together in a bowl with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Using a knife, stir in enough water to make a dough (you may not need to add all of the water). Chill the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  2. Roll the dough out into a rectangle on a floured work surface. Fold one-third of the dough to the centre, then fold the other third over that.

  3. Rotate the pastry a quarter turn, roll the pastry out again and fold in the same way again. Rotate the pastry a quarter turn and repeat the rolling and folding. Chill in the fridge.

  4. For the pancakes, whisk together the egg, milk and flour, salt and melted butter in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the parsley.

  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan and brush with a little oil. Ladle in a ladleful of the batter, quickly turning the pan to coat the base evenly with the batter. Cook for 30 seconds to one minute, until the base is lightly browned.

  6. Using a palette knife, gently flip the pancake over and cook on the other side for a few seconds, until lightly browned. Slide the pancake onto a plate and cover with greaseproof paper. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

  7. For the chicken mousseline, blend the chicken breast in a blender to a paste and pass through a sieve into a bowl set over a larger bowl of ice. Slowly beat in the egg and cream until smooth. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  8. For the mushroom duxelle, heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and herbs for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook until the mixture has thickened. Stir in the breadcrumbs and set aside to chill.

  9. Stir the mushroom duxelle into the chicken mousseline.

  10. For the lemon oil, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.

  11. For the pea purée, bring the peas, water, boullion and spinach to the boil in a saucepan. Blend the mixture to a purée and strain into a bowl set over a bowl of ice

  12. For the pea salad, cook the peas for one minute in boiling water and then refresh in iced water.

  13. Melt half of the butter in a frying pan and fry the spring onions for one minute, add the girolles and cook for a further minute. Stir in the wild garlic leaves and the cooked peas and then remove the pan from the heat.

  14. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and cook the lettuce leaves with a splash of water for 1-2 minutes, or until wilted. Drain.

  15. Stir the chives, pea shoots and wilted lettuce into the pea mixture. Stir in the pea purée and finish with a drizzle of lemon oil.

  16. For the fruit brandy sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the venison trimmings for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove the venison trimmings, add the garlic and shallots and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the red wine and brandy and continue to cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced to about 100ml/3½fl oz. Add the stock, herbs and juniper berries and simmer for 10 minutes.

  17. Pass the sauce through muslin into a saucepan and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Whisk in the butter.

  18. For the Wellington, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  19. Season the venison loin, heat the oil in a pan and fry the venison until golden-brown all over. Remove the loin from the pan and chill in the fridge for an hour. Brush all over with the mustard.

  20. Roll the pastry out into a rectangle of 3mm thickness on a floured work surface. Lay 2-3 of the pancakes along the centre, spread half of the chicken and duxelle mixture on top of the pancake and then sit the venison on top. Spoon the remaining chicken and duxelle on top and spread over the meat. Cover with the remaining pancakes.

  21. Fold the puff pastry around the pancakes, ensuring the venison is evenly covered all around with the mushroom duxelle, pancakes and pastry. Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

  22. To serve, place the Wellington in the centre of the table, with the salad in a serving bowl and a jug of sauce alongside.

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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