JUGGED VENISON WITH BUCKWHEAT POLENTA

Ciavarella Cristiano

This type of preparation, typical of Northern cuisine and which has several regional variations, involves a long marinating and cooking of the meat, which absorbs all the strong taste and the intoxicating aroma of aromas and red wine. Roe deer, with its tenacious consistency and robust flavor, is a type of meat that lends itself perfectly to this type of recipe and thanks to a slow and gradual cooking it is tender and soft. Buckwheat polenta is the best accompaniment to such a delicious and tasty meat, giving a rustic and full-bodied note to the dish, which has all the charm and colors of autumn. Waiting to taste it on the menus of characteristic restaurants in the mountains or in a welcoming refuge at high altitude.

Ingredients: (for 4 portions as a single dish)

2 kg of venison pulp
a generous spoonful of ground cinnamon
5 cloves
about twenty juniper berries
a sprig of rosemary, 5-6 fresh sage leaves, 5-6 bay leaves
a carrot
a stick of celery
a golden onion
70 g of butter
a liter of wine
polenta
a clove of garlic in a shirt
fresh parsley
1Kg of mixed mushrooms (frozen is also good)
fine salt
ground black pepper

Take the meat, wash it thoroughly, and place it in the bowl for the marinade, adding the aromatic herbs, cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries and a generous grind of black pepper.

Cut celery, carrot and onion coarsely on the cutting board and add everything to the meat.
Cover with the wine that was chosen for the marinade.

Leave everything in the fridge for one day.
When the meat is ready for cooking, strain the marinade through a colander. All the solid part of the must then be selected because not everything must go into cooking with the meat since the herbs could also be removed if you do not want them to be found in the dish. In particular, juniper and cloves if left in cooking could give a too intense flavor that covers the rest of the flavors. In this case the rosemary, juniper and cloves were removed

Put the meat with the vegetables and herbs from the marinade in the pan and cook it with the butter for about twenty minutes. If in this first phase you do not have a pan large enough not to contain two kg of venison, you can use two pans and wait for the meat to lose its water and reduce in volume. After 20 min everything must be combined in the same container.

After the first cooking, start adding the marinade even a little at a time if it does not enter the pan all together.

Leave to simmer. It is advisable to keep the lid on until halfway through cooking the meat and when you notice that the meat begins to soften you can remove it and start reducing the sauce. The cooking will be completed when the meat can be cut with a fork without making any effort and the sauce has shrunk (do not restrict the sauce too much, possibly add water again if needed). It generally takes no less than two and a half hours after the marinade is added.

So far no salt has been added. You can start adding it little by little when the sauce begins to shrink and the meat is about halfway through cooking. Taste the sauce periodically because as it shrinks it becomes concentrated and you risk making a too salty sauce. The dish will take on this aspect about halfway through cooking. Having used cinnamon, wine and cloves, the aromas that are felt in cooking are reminiscent of mulled wine.

The meat at the end of cooking takes this aspect

Prepare the mushrooms. If using a frozen product, add the mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, the poached garlic clove and parsley to the cold pan. Remember to remove the garlic clove at the end. This procedure is used because frozen mushrooms release a lot of water and if they are thrown into boiling oil, the effect is that the oil splashes. The problem does not arise if we have non-frozen mushrooms. In that case, first brown the garlic in the oil and remove it as soon as it turns golden, then add the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the polenta according to whether you want to use a soft polenta or a sliced grilled polenta. In this case it was grilled by calculating three slices for each portion.

Serve hot.

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Enjoy your meal!

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