A dieting friend came for lunch today and it pains me to say this, but at her request and under duress we ate grilled chicken with steamed vegetables. The pleasure of food has as much to do with the preparation as the eating as far as I'm concerned, and tossing some veg in a steamer and a couple of chicken breasts under the grill doesn't quite cut the mustard. We may as well have feasted on roasted woodland troll with sautéed bladder wrack on a bed of straw for all the sensual enjoyment it gave me - but hey, there are people starving so I'll quit whingeing.
I could've joined BB in slow-cooked chevreuil (roe deer, shot last weekend by Roquin) with red wine, bacon and onions, the sticky tender meat falling off the bone like wet toast, but I didn't want my friend to feel left out. Instead I took vicarious pleasure in watching BB devour it, salivating like a dog waiting to be thrown a bone.
The garden produce that's been sitting in the kitchen for the last two weeks has been dispatched freezerwards in various incarnations and all that's left to do (for the moment anyway) is make green tomato chutney with the last of the tomatoes.
I leave you with a recipe for venison cooked in red wine à l' Elizabeth David - so simple, so slow and oh so delicious.
2 lb shoulder or flank of venison
4 tbsp port (or red wine)
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 large onion, sliced
6 rashers of bacon
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Tie the venison in a sausage shape and leave to marinate in a large bowl with the port (or red wine), vinegar and olive oil for 24 hours.
2. Take the meat out (reserving the marinade), roll in the flour and place in an ovenproof dish. Place a layer of onions on top and then cover with the bacon rashers. Pour over the marinade, season with salt and pepper, cover with greaseproof paper and the lid and cook in the oven at a low temperature ( 140°C/ 310°F) for 4 - 4½ hours.
3. Serve with a purée of celeriac and potatoes.