Game is such a lovely rich meat that we do not have as often as we would like. But this does make it a treat when we do have it. I will admit to buying this venison a few weeks ago when it was in the reduced section and put it straight in the freezer. Venison is a mince that I like to take my time cooking, I like to spend time perfecting the meal, it is not a meat that I like to cook when in a rush. With venison mince I find that the slower it is cooked, the tastier it becomes. So during the half term holidays I took the opportunity to put together a recipe that I had planned. During a shopping trip to our local TKMaxx to pick up some gourmet pasta I found a lovely Sicilian herb mix. These two ingredients were the finishing touches that I needed to create a rich ragu dinner.
This ragu takes just over an hour to cook but believe me it is certainly worth the extra effort. The extra time allows the flavours to marry together to create a deliciously rich sauce that you will not be able to resist!
This is what I did...
Ingredients - Serves 4 with some leftover
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 courgette, thickly sliced then chopped
2sml carrots, cut into cubes
15g dried porcini mushrooms
100g closed cup mushrooms, sliced
300g venison mince
5 slices of smoked spiced prosciutto, chopped
250mls red wine
50g sliced black olives
500g tomato pasata
2tsp Sicilian herb mix (oregano, basil, chilli, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, black pepper and sea salt)
300g dried pasta
1 - Gently heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the venison mince, chopped onion, carrot and prosciutto
2 - Mix thoroughly and brown off the mince over a low to medium heat for 10 minutes
3 - Add the chopped courgette and mushrooms, mix leave to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring regularly
4 - Pour over the red wine, increase the heat to medium/high and bring to the boil
5 - Once the wine has started to boil, reduce the meat to medium/low and simmer until the wine has reduced to a thick sauce, this will take about 15 minutes
6 - While the wine is reducing, place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water
7 - Once the wine has reduced pour in the tomato pasata, the sliced black olives, the re-hydrated porcini mushrooms along with the tasty water that they have soaked in and the Sicilian spices
8 - Bring to the boil
9 - Once the sauce is boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and leave to simmer for 30 minutes
10 - While the sauce is simmering cook the pasta as per instructions on the packet
11 - Once the sauce has cooked serve on a bed of pasta with a generous grating of hard cheese and a side dish of garlic bread.
This is such a deliciously thick, rich sauce that goes perfectly with the game. The addition of the smoked spiced prosciutto adds so much flavour to the venison while cooking. I especially love the flavours that the fat from the matured prosciutto adds to the dish while cooking and combined with the red wine makes this an irresistible ragu that is so full of flavour. It is a perfect special meal. However if like me, you do not usually have time to indulge in a cook cooking session, this is the ideal recipe to enjoy while drinking a glass of wine!
Do you like game? Do you have it as a treat?
What is you favourite special meal?
When you have time, what is your favourite meal to cook?
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