Inspiration for Executive Chefs
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Smoked Cervena Venison Carpaccio

Smoked Cervena venison carpaccio
with licorice pickled onions
Serves 8-10 as a starter

Onion and licorice marmalade
500ml (1 bottle) Forum cabernet sauvignon vinegar
1 star anise
1/2 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
50 grams dark brown sugar
200 ml water
3 teaspoons licorice essence (available in baking section)
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 clove garlic
3 pounds pearl onions, peeled

Combine all of the ingredients except the onions in a large pot. Place over medium heat and bring it up to a boil.
-add the onions, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
-cook the onions until tender (about 15 minutes)and remove the pot from the heat to cool.
-once the onions have cooled, drain the liquid into another pot, place back on the heat, and reduce by half (it should be thick and a bit syrupy). Take off of the heat and reserve.
-slice the pearl onions as thin as possible and pour over the reduced liquid. Refrigerate until needed.

Tea Smoked Cervena-
Note: this should only be done in a well ventilated space

2 pounds New Zealand Cervena (preferably as one piece), cleaned and trimmed (I use Denver leg)
3/4cup brown sugar
3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup black tea

-in a mixing bowl combine the salt and the brown sugar
-add the venison to the mixing bowl and roll in the sugar and salt mix until well coated.
-place the coated venison on a tray or large plate and refrigerate for one hour.
-Line a large heavy bottom pan with tin foil. Combine the rice and tea and place in the foil lined pan.
-Place a baking rack (also called a cooling rack) on the pan that sits at least 3 inches above the tea and rice mixture and lay the venison on the rack. This will allow the venison to smoke and absorb flavor without cooking too quickly.
-Cover the rack and venison tightly with foil.
-Place the pan on a high heat until the tea and rice start to smoke and reduce the heat to medium. Continue to smoke the venison for about 8-10 minutes (it should still be rare). Remove the venison and place directly on a hot grill just to get grill marks on both sides (about 1-2 minutes on each side). Cool the meat as quickly as possible by refrigerating to avoid the meat overcooking.
-When cool, wrap the meat in cling film and put in the freezer for two hours to firm up and to allow you to slice thinly.

Alternate method to replace smoking

-drizzle olive oil over the venison and season with salt and pepper.
-Place the meat on a hot grill, and cook until rare (about 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and place in the refrigerator to cool quickly.
-When cool, wrap the meat in cling film and put in the freezer for two hours to firm up and to allow you to slice thinly.

-To serve- remove the venison from the freezer and slice as thinly as possible. Place the slices in an overlapping circle on a serving plate, and a salad of some variety in the middle of the circle (asparagus, fennel, or just a green salad.
-sprinkle a few licorice pickled onions on the venison, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Inspiration for Executive Chefs