Saddle of venison with pear and elderberry, accompanied by potato noodles and cream of morel sauce
Photography: Hans Joachim Schmidt
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1 saddle of venison (about 2kg, producing fillets weighing about 1.2kg – ask your butcher to debone the meat and break the bone into small pieces for you) 90g clarified butter 1 large beef tomato 1 red onion about 400g diced vegetables (carrots, celeriac, celery and leek) 2 cloves 5 pimento berries 10–12 juniper berries 3 teaspoons dried thyme 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 15g dried morel mushrooms 600ml red wine 150ml red port (ruby) 2–3 tablespoons rose hip jam (from a health food shop) 500g waxy potatoes 250g flour nutmeg, freshly grated 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (from a health food shop) 1 medium egg 8 small pears (ripe but firm, ideally Williams Christ) 600ml pear juice 200ml elderberry juice 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 1/2 leaves white gelatine 1–2 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles and a few tips of rosemary sprigs for garnishing freshly ground black pepper salt
Per portion: 711 kcal / 2978 kJ / protein 53g / fat 24g / carbohydrate 55g
1. For the sauce, put 40g clarified butter in the roast pan on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat under the grill for 5 minutes at level 1/275°C. First toss the bones in the fat, then dice the tomato and the onions and, along with the other diced vegetables, also toss them in the fat. Put the pan on the top shelf of the oven and grill for 40 minutes, turning the contents every 10 minutes. Add 300ml water and grill for another 10 minutes. Now transfer everything into a saucepan, scraping out all the sticky bits from the bottom of the roasting pan (ideally with a silicon spatula). Add sufficient water to cover the contents of the pan. Season with cloves, pimento, 5 juniper berries, 1 level teaspoon thyme and the peppercorns. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer very gently at level 2 for several hours (ideally overnight). When done, pass through a sieve, returning the liquid to the pan.
2. Soak the morels in 250ml hot water. Stir the mushrooms about in the water, squeezing them a little. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter into the venison stock. Pour in the red wine and the port and, leaving the pan uncovered, reduce to about 500ml. Add the morels and reduce further to about 400ml. Season with salt, pepper and rose hip jam. Up to this point, the sauce can be prepared well in advance.
3. To make the schupfnudeln, a delicious Swabian potato and egg noodle speciality, peel and cook, then mash the potatoes (ideally with a potato ricer). When cool, sprinkle with flour, 1–2 teaspoons salt, grated nutmeg and poppy seeds. Add the egg and mix everything with your hands to form a loose dough. From the dough, shape finger-sized noodles (about 8g each) which taper to a point at one end. Boil salted water in a large, wide saucepan. Add the noodles a few at a time. They are done when they rise to the surface and should be removed with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Up to this point, the schupfnudeln can be prepared well in advance.
4. To make the elderberry pears, tip the pear, elderberry and lemon juice into a large pan and season with a pinch of salt. Peel the pears, lay them in the juice, cover the pan and bring to boil. Cook over a low heat for about 8 minutes. Allow the fruit to cool down in the juice.
5. To make the jelly, siphon off 400ml of the cooked pear and elderberry juice, add 1/2 chilli pepper and cook down to 250ml. Liberally season with salt. Soak the gelatine in cold water, then dissolve in the hot fruit juice. Pour the mixture into a dish and allow to set.
6. To prepare the saddle of venison, crush the rest of the juniper berries and chop finely together with the rosemary needles, mixing this with 2 teaspoons thyme and plenty of pepper. Preheat the oven to 90°C. Cut the two venison striploin fillets in half widthwise, seasoning these and the other small fillets with salt. Melt 50g clarified butter in a Miele small Casserole Dish. Braise the meat on either side on a medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the meat all over with the prepared herb mixture, then place the Casserole Dish back in the oven on the second shelf from the bottom and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. To serve, cut wedges out of the cooked pears, placing one on each of the warmed plates, then add a teaspoon of jelly beside each wedge. Melt butter in a large frying pan until it foams and fry the schupfnudeln in it, constantly shaking the pan and stirring the noodles until they turn golden brown. Cut the meat into diagonal, finger-wide slices. Pour a small pool of sauce onto each plate and arrange the pears, the slices of venison and the schupfnudeln on and around it. Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.
Take the pears out of the fridge well before serving – they should be at room temperature.
Do not allow the venison to stand for too long in the oven at 90°C, otherwise it will be overcooked. If you don’t have a Miele Casserole Dish you should braise the venison in an ovenproof casserole.