by Jilly McCord
This Venison and Haggis Wellington is a real labour of love, but it is definitely worth it and a showstopper that you can get all prepared ahead and just put in the oven on the day. It would make a lovely New Year or Hogmanay dinner celebration and is such a treat. The spinach pancake is an added stage, but it does help to soak up all the moisture and keep the pastry nice and crisp. You need a really sharp knife to carve and one of the Cole & Mason | Berden Acacia Carving Chopping & Serving Board – Cole & Mason UK (coleandmason.com) is perfect for collecting any of the juices.
Prep – 60 minutes (over the course of 2 days)
Cooking time – 35 minutes
For the Wellington
- 400g of centre cut of venison fillet
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 knob of butter
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 banana shallot or small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 300g mixed mushrooms
- 2 slices of haggis
- 4 slices of Parma ham
- 1 egg
- 70g flour
- 100ml milk
- A large bunch of spinach leaves
- 1 large sheet of puff pastry
- 2 egg yolks
For the red wine and cassis sauce:
- 300ml red wine
- 2 tbsps cassis
- 1 chicken/beef stock pot
- Redcurrant jelly – 2 tsps
- 50g butter
The day before:
For the venison
The day before you plan to eat the Wellington. Take the venison fillet and rub with sunflower oil and seasoning
In a hot, heavy based frying pan, sear the venison so each side is browned and sealed.
Wrap tightly in cling film and roll to make a sausage shape. Place in the fridge to cool.
For the pancake
Take the flour, eggs and milk and place in a large jug – blitz with hand held blender. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt and blitz until you have a smooth batter (texture of single cream)
Heat a frying pan and melt a little butter – make spinach pancakes by adding one ladleful of batter and spreading around the pan. Flip half way and set aside – you will need 2 large pancakes.
For the duxelles
Chop the mushrooms very finely (or blitz in a food processor).
Chop the shallot and garlic very finely.
Melt a little butter and a tsp oil in a frying pan and soften your shallot. Now add the mushrooms and turn up the heat
Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
You now need to cook the mushrooms at a low temperature until you have almost a thick paste – try to get as much of the moisture out of the mushrooms as possible. Once you get to this stage, cool and set aside in the fridge.
Take a large piece of clingfilm (or 2) and place on a work surface – this should be big enough to coat the venison.
Place the two pancakes overlapping on the cling film. Lay the 4 slices of Parma ham on the pancakes in a rectangular shape big enough to wrap the beef.
Now take your mushroom mixture and spread over the Parma ham. Brush your seared venison fillet with mustard and place it on top of the mushroom mixture.
Now wrap the venison fillet in the pancake and cling film until you have a nice oblong shape. Wrap it tight and now chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or for up to a day before cooking.
Lightly flour a kitchen surface and take a packet of ready rolled puff pastry. Whisk the egg yolk in a bowl and take a pastry brush.
Now roll your venison and duxelle parcel making sure it is nice and tight. Use some egg yolk to seal the bottom and fold in the ends like wrapping a parcel.
Now brush all over with egg yolk. If you have a lattice cutter you can then cut out another piece of pastry and layer on top. If not, cut out some festive shapes to decorate. Brush again with egg and keep in fridge until 30 minutes before cooking.
Making the sauce
Take a pan and add the red wine and cassis (if using). Simmer it until it has reduced by half. Add the stock pot (chicken or beef) or game stock if you have any, redcurrant jelly and 200ml water.
Reduce the sauce again until it is a fairly concentrated liquid. If it is not as thick as you would like, take a teaspoon of cornflour and mix with a little warm water to make a paste.
Add a little at a time until you get the right consistency. Finish with a knob of butter to get a nice shine.
To cook the Wellington, set the oven to 210C fan and then pre-heat your baking sheet in the oven.
Place your Wellington on a piece of baking paper and when the baking sheet is hot, lift the Wellington onto the baking sheet. Turn oven down to 190C and cook for 25 minutes for medium rare. It is very difficult to be sure that you have got the right internal temperature without a meat thermometer. If you have one, remove the meat from the oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 43C.
Let the Wellington rest for at least 15 minutes and the internal temperature will keep rising to get a perfect pink blushing centre.
Serve with dauphinoise potatoes, braised red cabbage and some greens.