Deer meat has been eaten for thousands of years and although once the preserve of the aristocracy it has recently seen a huge increase in popularity. It’s plentiful, flavoursome and healthy, being low in fat and high in omega 3. In Suffolk they have different species of wild deer on the doorstep – each has different eating characteristics and at the Great House they like to use Muntjac. It is Britain’s smallest deer which they source from local farmland. It has lean sweet meat with a very fine grain, more like lamb than venison, it also has a thick layer of fat over its back which adds to the flavour and keeps it moist. This dish also celebrates Suffolk beetroots, perfect companions!
4 x 150g boned fillet of Muntjac
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
20g salted butter
2 tablespoons heather honey
Juice of 1 lemon
8 baby red beetroots cleaned & roasted
100ml venison stock
Sprigs of chervil or other fresh herb
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C (Fan 180⁰C).
Trim some fat off the venison fillets. Put the sea salt in an ovenproof frying pan with a knob of butter and set it over a high heat. Place the venison fillets in the pan for 1 minute turning them over to seal on both sides.
Put the fillets in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Once the fillets are cooked, place on a warm plate covering them with another plate upside down.
Remove the fat from the pan and melt the butter with 1 tablespoon of the honey, half the lemon juice and the roasted baby beetroot cut in halves. Place over medium heat for 2 minutes, then remove the beetroots from the pan and set aside.
Put the rest of the honey and lemon juice in the pan with 20ml of water and the venison stock. Let it reduce for 2 minutes.
Slice the venison fillets to your liking and place them on individual plates. Return the beetroots to the pan for 1 minute. Cover the venison fillets with the sauce (or serve the sauce on the side, if you like) and add the beetroots.
Decorate with a sprig of chervil on top or other herb.
The Great House has been renown for its food for the past 30 years – Regis Crepy’s cuisine is fabulous, French, contemporary and worthy of the numerous awards and accolades. Using local produce wherever possible, his approach to cooking has always been consistent – its about colour, balance, contrast allowing the flavours of the quality ingredients to be tasted.
Regis has shared his recipes for a while and to celebrate being in Suffolk for so many years, published a book Bon Appetit that was a best seller in the local Waterstones for its simple, clear do-able recipes.
The Great House is an atmospheric and softly beautiful old house in the pretty village of Lavenham. Built in the 14th century, the lovely Georgian façade was added in the 18th. It has been home to famous collectors, artists and writers and has been a shining light in the world of cuisine since 1985. Enter through a heavy, latched door into the atmospheric restaurant and bar where features include exposed beams and red bricks, plus a huge fireplace. Furnishing is contemporary and smart and the menu is uncompromisingly French and superb.
Members and their guests receive a complimentary glass of House Champagne when having lunch Wednesday to Sunday and dinner Tuesday to Thursday. Click here for more details.
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