Venison carpaccio and peach brioche for a picnic


Orange’s Slow Summer festival closes tomorrow a big family picnic at Lake Canobolas. We often go to there for picnics as our kids love to swim from its little sandy ‘beach’ and the surrounding views of Nasdhale valley are some of the prettiest in NSW. So here’s what will be in our picnic basket this Sunday. Or on the table for lunch if it rains...

If the venison recipe appeals and you happen to live in Sydney, come and see us (Mandagery Creek Venison) at the Pyrmont Growers Market next Saturday, February 4th.

Seared venison carpaccio with pickled cherries, horseradish cream and thyme
This is an ideal recipe for an easy summer dinner at home or a picnic. It looks and tastes beautiful and comes together very quickly. Please do try it one day, this is the kind of recipe that lets venison really shine and makes the most of the meat's beautiful tender texture and subtle flavour. If making for a picnic, have everything ready to then sear the meat and assemble just before heading out. We are going to pack a couple of baguettes too and make up carpaccio ‘sandwiches’ with a little rocket salad on the side. Fancy!

400g Mandagery Creek Venison leg piece*
1 tbsp juniper berries
1 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp horseradish cream
1/3 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup pickled cherries (recipe here), you could also use thinly sliced fresh figs or even fresh cherries here
1/2 cup shaved pecorino or parmesan cheese
Thyme (to serve)

Crush the juniper, black peppercorns and sea salt together in a mortar and pestle. Rub the spices over the meat and set aside for a moment. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add meat and brown on each side for a minute on each side. Let rest under a tent of foil. Mix the horsedradish cream and creme fraiche togehter with a squeeze of lemon to taste. Slice the meat thinly and place on a serving plate. Top with the cherries, shaved pecorino, creme fraiche mix and thyme. Beautiful. Serves 4.

*I cut one of our 1kg leg pieces in half across the grain for this. The other half I sliced into steaks, wrapped each one in plastic and stashed them in the freezer for a dinner next week.

Peach Brioche
Not too sweet but soft, rich and delicious, this brioche recipe is great with any kind of fruit. It holds together well and is great for a picnic as you can serve it in nice big wedges and forget the plates. If we remember on Sunday we’ll pack this with some natural yogurt to dollop on top before eating. This recipe asks only ten minutes of your time but needs up to three hours to prove.

2 tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp warm milk
90g caster sugar
280g plain flour
1 tbsp salt
3 eggs
150g butter, softened
3 peaches, halved and thinly sliced
3 tsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon mixed together

Place the yeast and milk together in a small bowl and whisk together. Leave for five minutes until frothy. Add the flour, sugar, eggs and salt and beat with the dough hook attatchment of an electric mixer or briskly by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the butter a little bit at a time, waiting until each nob is completely incorperated before adding the next. Keep kneading/beating until the dough is smooth, glossy and elastic. Turn out into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a dry tea towel. Set aside in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Knock back the dough a little and roll into a ball (you might need to coat your hands with flour to do this as the dough can be quite sticky). Place on a floured baking tray and gently push down so you have a disc about 3cm thick. Leave to prove again for another hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C. Top the brioche with peach slices, dust with cinnamon sugar and brush edges with eggwash. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until edges are golden.



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