Please note that this website will be closing down in January 2019
In the December edition of the Newsletter:
As the silly season is now well under way, I thought I might add to the silliness by telling you about my Pointless Rudolph Carousel.
Despite what it may sound like, this is not a boring fairground attraction with reindeer instead of horses. It's dinner. You don't ride on them, you eat them. Let me explain. In reverse order, for Carousel read casserole, for Rudolph read venison, and for Pointless read... no points. All the ingredients in my venison casserole score no points in that well-known diet plan. Even if you happen to be trying to lose weight, you can eat as much of it as you like, so it's totally guilt free. And you can't say that about much of our traditional fare, can you? Better still, venison has a third of the fat of beef, fewer calories than chicken and more iron than all other meats.
First shoot your deer? Or run it over? No need. Lots of supermarkets now sell pre-packed diced venison which has been farmed for food. No wild animals need to be killed in the execution of this dish. If I had to kill my own animals for food, I'd be first in the queue to join the vegetarians. I'm as big a hypocrite as the rest of you!
Pointless Rudolph Carousel
For 2 - 3 people:
Pack of venison (about 300g)
any veg you fancy (no, George Clooney is not a vegetable, nor is Kylie).
(I use pumpkin with skin on and raw beetroot. As pumpkins are usually only around in October I use butternut squash in other months, but it needs peeling)
small whole potatoes, skin on. (You could have jacket potatoes instead, but then you'd probably want to put butter in them, and then it won't be pointless anymore, so small whole potatoes are safer. Points mean pounds, or possibly even kilograms)
1 hot or 2 milder chillies (or level teaspoon of chilli flakes)
half pint chicken stock
any flavourings you like. (I use several splurges of Worcestershire sauce, several of tomato sauce, few squirts of tomato puree, good teaspoon of wholegrain mustard, good teaspoon of dried mixed herbs, several grinds of black pepper.
If all that is too much effort a readymade sauce such as hunters chicken is fine)
generous glug or fourteen of red wine (adjust stock volume accordingly). (Ah, well, that's where you're wrong! Wine only scores points if you drink it as wine. If you use it in cooking, the alcohol evaporates, and the points are in the alcohol, so the points all evaporate. Poof! Magic! If you like cooking with wine and sometimes even put it in the food, you might want to consider putting a bit more of it in the food. Well, it's just a suggestion. Where were we?)
Trim and chunk venison. Peel and chunk onion and other veg (don't peel pumpkin). Finely chop garlic and chilli. Leave spuds as they are.
Put everything in oven dish with lid (or cover with foil). Heat at 180 (fan oven) for about an hour, until bubbling. Turn down to 160 for another 1 - 2 hours. Taste sauce during cooking and add a teaspoon of dark brown sugar if the tomato is a bit sharp, and/or anything else you think it needs. Even better cooked in advance and reheated.
Merry Reindeer and Happy New Carousel.
I'm Chenda Appleyard