Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bites and Pieces: Smoked Venison Salad

Aoife, Cambridge

I made this salad when I was feeling poorly a few weeks ago. When I say poorly I mean hungover, which was why I was quite impressed I produced something so delicious and attractive (this is not always the case with my hangover food). It reminded me how easy it is to make fabulous food when you have top quality ingredients to hand. I'd stocked up on goodies when I was home in Ireland for Christmas (mainly Manhattan popcorn and creamy Glenilen butter) and had also gratefully received this smoked venison which my lovely Aunt Catherine donated to the cause.

I've had limited experience with venison but I am always happy to experiment. This venison comes from fallow deer farmed at Coopershill House in Sligo (gorgeous place and close to my parents house). The meat itself turned out to be flavoursome, lean and tender with a very subtle smokey flavour. This is a classic "whatever is in the fridge" salad. Luckily my random collection of salad leaves, beetroot, red onion and hard goat's cheese complimented the venison very nicely. I finished it off with a quick dressing made from olive oil, balsamic vinegar and wholegrain mustard. I'd love to try it again with some avocado and soft goat's cheese. 

Smoked meats like this are great for having handy in the fridge for when you are too busy (or hungover) to do any more than feck everything in a bowl. I'm now on the look out for suppliers of smoked venison around Cambridge, if anyone has some information, do let me know.

smoked venison salad (serves one)

smoked venison (approx 50g sliced into thick strips)
salad leaves
1/2 red onion (sliced)
cooked beetroot (sliced)
hard goat's cheese (cubed)

for the dressing:
15mL olive oil
5mL balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in small jug, stirring vigorously to combine. On your favourite plate, scatter the salad leaves followed by the beetroot, onion and cheese. Add the venison and top with the dressing. Eat and feel better.

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