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Braised Venison Neck with Gremolata

Venison Neck Recipe

Venison necks are one of my favourite cuts and if you can then are well worth carrying out. The flavour is exceptional and the meat succulent when transformed by a few hours of slow cooking. Meat is always tastier if cooked on the bone but if you can’t (or understandably don’t want to) carry the bones out then you can bone out the neck meat and use it instead and it will still be great. How much you get will depend on the size of your necks but if you don’t use all the braised meat you can use it as a pie filling - MacLean Fraser, Executive Chef at Artisan Dining House, Bolton Hotel.

Braised Venison neck with gremolata

Serves 4-6

Venison necks are one of my favourite cuts and if you can then are well worth carrying out. The flavour is exceptional and the meat succulent when transformed by a few hours of slow cooking. Meat is always tastier if cooked on the bone but if you can’t (or understandably don’t want to) carry the bones out then you can bone out the neck meat and use it instead and it will still be great. How much you get will depend on the size of your necks but if you don’t use all the braised meat you can use it as a pie filling - MacLean Fraser, Executive Chef at Artisan Dining House, Bolton Hotel.     

Gremolota

4 cl Garlic

1 Lemon (zest only)

1 small bunch Parsley

4Tbs Olive oil

 

Finely chop everything except the olive oil together then stir in the oil at the end.

 

Braised neck

1-2 Venison necks

1 Onion

½ bulb Garlic

1 Carrot

2 large Rosemary sprigs

1 small bunch Thyme

2 Bay leaf

2lt Chicken stock

 

Plus:

½ Onion

2 cl Garlic

6Tbs chopped Parsley

Salt and pepper

 

Break down the neck into the individual bones. Roughly chop up the onion, garlic and carrot and fry in a pan with a little oil until browned. Combine the necks, browned veg and the Rosemary, Thyme, Bay leaf and chicken stock in your slow cooker or in a Dutch oven or a similar deep roasting dish with a lid or cover with tin foil. You can add water to make sure that the necks are at least ¾ covered or you can add red wine or beer (my preference is an ale) if you want to splash out. A tip to reduce cooking times is to heat up the stock before you add it to the slow cooker. If you’re using a slow cooker then you can put it on in the morning and forget about it until dinner time, if using a baking dish or similar then it will take about 5 hours at 160C covered in the oven. If unsure if it’s ready or not just carefully take a piece out and if it falls off the bone it’s ready.

 

Once cooked take the necks out of the braising liquid and take the meat off the bone, picking out any sinew or non-meat pieces. Throw out the bones. Strain the braising liquor and in a pot reduce the liquor over a moderate heat until it’s syrupy and coats the back of a spoon; this is going to be the sauce. Finely dice the onion and garlic and sweat off in a pot in a little oil until softened. Add the onion mix to the meat along with the chopped parsley, some reduced braising liquor and salt and black pepper to taste. Now you’re ready to serve unless you wish to get a bit fancy, in which case you can roll the meat up in glad wrap and torque it so that it’s a tight cylinder and then set in the fridge. Once cold you can cut it into slices, place a small knob of butter on top and reheat in a low oven on a baking tray lined with baking paper until hot.

 

Serve on some parsnip puree or buttery mashed potatoes with some beans or green veg of your choice along with the left over reduced braising liquor and sprinkled with some gremolata.   

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