Coopershill House Irish Venison loin with pumpkin puree and a black pudding filo cigar
A recipe prepared by Derry Clarke of L'Ecrivain for the Irish Food Writers Guild Awards 2011
4 x 150g (5oz) venison loins, trimmed
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to garnish
FOR THE PUMPKIN PURÉE:
knob of butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
450g (1lb) pumpkin, peeled, seeded and diced
85ml (3fl oz) cream
50ml (2fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
FOR THE BLACK PUDDING CIGAR:
1 sheet filo pastry, thawed if frozen
75g (3oz) piece black pudding
25g (1oz) melted butter
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
apple purée, candied pecan nuts and microcress sprigs, to garnish (optional)
poached pear quarters, to serve (optional)
To make the pumpkin purée:
Heat the butter in a heavy-based pan. Sauté the onion and garlic until softened but not coloured. Stir in the pumpkin flesh and then pour in the cream and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes or until completely tender.
Remove from the heat and transfer the pumpkin to a liquidizer with a slotted spoon. Blitz to a thick purée using a little of the cooking liquid if necessary. Season to taste, then pass through a sieve for a really smooth finish. This can be left to cool and stored in the fridge until needed.
To cook the venison:
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4.
Season the venison loins. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan and seal the loins for 3-4 minutes before transferring them to the oven. Cook for another 4-5 minutes for rare, 7-8 minutes for medium or 10-12 minutes for well done.
Set the venison aside in a warm place to rest.
Meanwhile, prepare the black pudding cigars:
Cut the filo pastry into 4 x 7.5cm (3in) squares. Strip the casing from the black pudding and roll the pudding into four cigar shapes that will fit neatly on the pastry. Brush with melted butter and then roll up to enclose the filling, trimming down any excess as necessary. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
Carve each rested venison loin into three pieces and arrange on serving plates to one side, then top each one with a black pudding cigar. Decorate each plate with a couple of spoonfuls of the warm pumpkin purée. Add a small dollop of apple purée, if using, along with a couple of broken up candied pecan nuts. Add a poached pear to each one and scatter over the microcress sprigs. Finish each plate with a light drizzle of olive oil to serve.