FOOD: Venison carpaccio with black garlic, mushrooms and popped capers

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This beautiful, tender, seared venison carpaccio is an impressive party appetiser to serve chilled with pre-dinner drinks. This dish is a crowd favourite, simple and quick to make. The mushroom and black garlic sauce is the perfect pairing with this lean meat! While many people are familiar with regular garlic, some may be new to black garlic. It’s the product of ageing regular garlic in a regulated temperature and humidity, which brings a unique molasses-like richness to the dish. Enjoy!

PREP TIME:  6 MINS

COOK TIME:  15 MINS

MAKES:  8-10 CANAPES

INGREDIENTS
1 venison fillet
Freshly-ground pepper
Sea salt

BLACK GARLIC AND MUSHROOM SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
6 cloves black garlic (I got mine from Raeward Fresh)
200g mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon brandy or marsala
100g sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

POPPED CAPERS
3 tablespoons capers
3 tablespoons oil

GARNISH
Watercress
Black pepper

METHOD
1.  Generously season the fillet all over with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan to a high heat and put in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.

2.  Sear the venison on all sides, about 1-2 mins each side, until nicely caramelised.  Remove from the heat, wrap in tin foil and set aside while you make the sauce.

3.  Take a medium pot and melt the butter on a medium heat. Add in the onion and black
garlic and saute for 3-4 mins, until the onions have softened. 4.Add in the brandy (or marsala) and then the mushrooms. Stir until the mushrooms are completely cooked  through (about 5-6 mins).

5.  While the mushrooms are cooking, make the popped capers. Thoroughly dry the capers on a paper towel. In a pan, heat the oil to a high heat then gently tip in the capers. Cook for 2-3 mins, until you see they are crispy, then drain on a paper towel.

6.  Next, add in the sour cream to the mushrooms, thoroughly combine and then using a stick blender (or blender), mix until nearly smooth.

7.  Now take the fillet (if there are any juices released, tip into the sauce), and thinly slice. Generously salt each piece.

8.  Take a large serving platter and place the venison around the platter. Place the watercress between the venison. Drizzle over the sauce (I poured mine into an old tomato sauce bottle!), then sprinkle over the capers and some freshly-ground black pepper.

NB:  You can use any leftover mushroom sauce as a dip at your next party!