VENISON RILLETTES

Lean full-flavoured venison is braised slowly with duck or goose fat and wild boar bacon in this wild version of the classic French dish. Surprisingly easy to make, it’s superb as a starter or lunch with sourdough toast.

 

Ingredients ~ serves 4

300g venison haunch/shoulder

60g pure sea salt

2 rashers streaky wild boar bacon

4 tbsp duck/goose fat

3 large srigs of thyme

2 cloves garlic, skin on, bashed

250ml red wine

250ml high quality stock

6 juniper berries, ground

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To serve

Sourdough toast, fresh of pickled blackberries

 

Method

  • Mix together the salt and thyme and rub all over the venison. Place the salted meat in an airtight container and into the fridge to cure for 12 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 130C

  • After 12 hours, rinse off the cure and then place the venison into an ovenproof dish which it sits relatively snugly in. Dollop over half of the fat, then lay the bacon rashers on top and tuck the thyme sprigs and garlic around the side of the meat.

  • Pour in the red wine and stock (the meat should be completely covered in liquid) and place a lid on the dish and pop into the oven.

  • Braise slowly for approximately 4 hrs, or until the meat is falling apart. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

  • Take the meat from its braising liquid, shred it, and place into a large bowl. Stir the remaining fat and juniper through. It can be enjoyed straight away!

  • If you want it to keep for several months, pack into a sterile glass jar, ensuring there are no air pockets, seal with a thin layer of fat, and store in the fridge.

  • Serve on sourdough toast with some freshly picked thyme leaves and some fresh or pickled blackberries, or indeed other pickle, if liked.

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