Venison steak, porcini mushrooms, carrot and cream sauce on wilted Savoy cabbage and mustard seeds.

Recipe by Sara Danesin Medio - Masterchef Finalist Serves 4 Combining quintessentially Italian porcini mushrooms with the light gaminess of venison steaks is a winner. Perfect for a balanced meal for the whole family, the addition of the Dashi sauce (a Japanese stock made by soaking dried shiitake mushrooms in water – I used porcini instead), gives this dish the extra dimension and taste called the 5th flavour or umami, also referred to as “savouriness or meatiness”. Savoy cabbage provides that winter feel making it a more complete dish.


Cooking the venison

The griddle pan must be VERY hot. Place it on a very high flame, for up to 3-4 min before cooking or until it smokes.  Cook the steak 3-4 min on each side (times may vary according to thickness so for thinner than 2 cm  cook for a minute less). Once cooked, rest the steaks in a warm place on a tilted plate or Pyrex dish, making sure the meat bleeds well and the fibres relax for extra tenderness. After 15 minutes, place them on the griddle pan again for about a minute to warm them through, and baste them in either butter or groundnut oil. Pat meat dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle salt and pepper and rest.

Cooking the sauce

In a frying pan put 2 tbsp. EVO, and add the finely diced carrot, shallot and a garlic clove. Sautee well and when nicely caramelised, add finely chopped porcini. Mix well, and add 100 ml of the mushroom soak water gradually in order to cook the vegetables well and to concentrate the flavours. Make sure the mix is not too watery, (allow at least 15 min cooking on a medium gas) and then add the cream. Lower the gas and reduce for further 4-5 minutes. Set aside. Cook as per cooking tip above. Trim the savoy cabbage, removing the outer leaves, and blanch in a big pan of boiling salted water for 4 min; drain straightaway and place under cold running water to stop the cooking. In a shallow pan put 2 tbsp. of EVO, the garlic, add the shredded savoy and sauté for 4-5 minutes then add the mustard seeds and the chopped rosemary. A few minutes before eating, place the meat on the same hot griddle pan for another 3 min on each side, warm the sauce and the cabbage through.
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Serving tips

Place the shredded savoy cabbage in the centre of the serving plate, rest the steak on top and then pour over the hot sauce. Serve at once.

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