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CERVENA - VENISON

RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

Cervena runs wild in New Zealand

The weekend before last, I was part organiser and a judge at a cooking competition aimed at school pupils aged thirteen to seventeen. They had ninety minutes to cook a nutritional venison dish for two people. I take my hat (chapeau de chef) off to them . . . let me tell you the standard was truly amazing and the teachers and parents were more nervous than the pupils, who really handled it like real pro’s.

First a little about the meat they had to use. Venison as we all know is the meat from wild deer, but what you might not know, is that the word venison originally meant the meat from any wild animal. Deer were introduced into New Zealand by the Europeans in 1850 as hunting game for the gentry, but as these things happen, they got into the wild and ‘bred like rabbits’, as the deer had no natural predators and had plentiful food to survive. They became a real nuisance, pest and destroyer of New Zealand flora and a were treated like vermin, even today they are a problem and there is no hunting season for them and culls happen often.

But not everyone likes or appreciates the strong gamey flavour of the venison. So on April 19, 1993, Cervena was launched officially in New Zealand. Cervena is the product of New Zealand farmed deer, less than three years old, that is all natural, range/grass fed without hormones or steroids. It has changed venison from an often tough and strong gamey meat, into a new venison with a consistently tender texture and mild, yet distinctive in flavour.

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The name cervena is derived from the following words :

Cervidae : the Latin word for deer
Venison : the Latin word for hunted game
A : for premium quality

The main benefits of Cervena are:

  • It is available all year round.
  • Vacuum sealed it can be refrigerated for 3 months.
  • Frozen for up to 2 years.
  • Has a milder flavour than wild venison, so appeals to a wider spectrum of people.
  • Tenderness is guaranteed without hanging.
  • It is quick and easier to prepare and cook; it requires minimum amount of cooking and best served medium rare. It therefore suits cooking methods such as BBQ, grilling, blast roasting, sautéing, etc.
  • It has low wastage and high yield for better profits.
  • Contains little fat and hard sinew so shrinks little on cooking.
  • Nutritionally balanced with low fat and cholesterol, with similar fat and calories to skinless chicken and salmon.
  • A healthy alternative to beef and other meats.

Anyway the dish this week departs from the norm, in that it is not mine! The winner in the senior section so impressed me, I thought I would share it with you. He combined real international ingredients for a winning combination that reflects Pacific Rim foods at their best and a reflection of our fusion cuisine in New Zealand. New Zealand Cervena, South American tamarillos (tree tomatoes), Mediterranean couscous and Asian wontons.

So with the kind permission of Craig Neal from Marlborough Boys High School, this was his winning dish . . .

CERVENA WITH A FILLED WONTON CYLINDER COUSCOUS RISOTTO & TAMARILLO & CITRUS SALSA

Ingredients

Cervena    

cervena

200

gm

coriander seeds

2

tsp

fennel seeds

2

tsp

cumin seeds

2

tsp


Couscous risotto    

chicken stock

150

ml

garlic clove

1

pc

shallot

1

pc

couscous

200

gm

capsicum (fine dice) - red

 

sq

capsicum (fine dice)- green

 

sq

corn kernels (cooked)

30

gm

butter

15

gm


Tamarillo salsa    

tamarillo

2

pc

lime

2

pc

orange

2

pc

honey

 

sq


Wonton cases    

wonton wrappers

6

pc

paprika

 

sq

butter

 

sq

egg

1

pc

spinach leaves (wilted)

6

pc

Method

Wonton cylinders

  • Brush one edge of two wrappers and join three together
  • Grease a stainless steel tune mould and wrap wonton wrappers around and seal ends together with water
  • Repeat with remaining wrappers
  • Brush with egg beaten together with a little milk
  • Place on a baking tray and bake at 180ºC until a golden brown and crispy
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before carefully removing the mould
  • Set aside until required

Tamarillo salsa

  • Plunge the tamarillos into boiling water for 20 seconds and place in iced water to stop the cooking process
  • Peel and cut into small dice
  • Zest and juice the citrus fruits and add to the tamarillo
  • Add honey to taste
  • Set aside until required

Couscous risotto

  • Bring the stock, finely chopped shallot and garlic clove to the boil and simmer for two minutes to allow the garlic to infuse
  • Remove from the heat and discard the garlic clove
  • Add the cooked corn
  • Add the couscous, stir thoroughly and allow to sit for 2 - 3 minutes
  • Stir in the capsicum cut
  • Stir in the butter, keep warm until required

Cervena

  • Toast the various seeds in a warm pan to release the aromas
  • Grind with a pestle and mortar until smooth
  • Roll the cervena in spice mixture
  • Heat a pan with a little olive oil and pan fry until medium rare
  • Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into 1 cm thick medallions

To serve

  • Place the salsa around the plate
  • Place the spinach in the centre of the plate and the wonton wrappers on top (this will secure them to the plate and stop them slipping around)
  • Fill wonton cylinders with the couscous
  • Place the cervena medallions on top and garnish with chives

Chef's Tip

They are never to young to start!

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand