this well known combination of flavours is popular for a reason… its bloody good.
the pear refreshes the palate from the thick creamy intensity of the cheese … the peppered venison is just simply indulgent, and walnuts not only bring the texture and crunch, but are ALSO good for your heart…. so how can you say no to that?
pairing this salad with the crushed potatoes makes the venison go further (it aint a cheap cut of meat) without compromising on flavour. the potato dish is a good side to any meal and its bloody delicious. anything with butter is, right?
a simple dish to make, so no excuses k?
crushed new potatoes
10 new baby potatoes (use large potatoes if you want – just reduce the number to 2-3 and cut into smaller chunks)
3 tsp dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, crushed
fresh thyme as garnish (optional)
for the salad
2 150gm venison steaks
4 handfuls of mesclun leaves
1 cup italian parsley – roughly chopped
2 pears – ripe, but still firm
1 tblsp butter
65gm blue cheese – sliced into small cubes (I used kapiti Kahurangi)
70gm walnuts – roughly chopped
preheat oven to 200deg.
for the potatoes
place the potatoes in a saucepan and boil until near tender.
move the potatoes from the saucepan onto a roasting dish (i always line my roasting dishes with baking paper – saves the messy pans to clean later!)
with a fork, crush the potatoes – they should crush easily. I like to leave some big chunks as well as having smaller chunks. The skin may fall off some potatoes but that’s OK because that gets crunchy and YUMMY in the oven!
melt the butter and add the crushed garlic. Stir and drizzle this as evenly as possible over the potatoes.
sprinkle the dried thyme, over the potatoes and season with salt.
transfer to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until some of the potato goes crunchy and browns.
for the salad
peel and slice each half of the pear into 6 slices.
heat fry pan to high, add a dash of oil and then add butter. sear the pear quickly to get some colour, but not to go too soft.
remove from the pan, toss the pears with juice from half a lemon and set on a board to cool. the lemon will stop the pears from browning and provide a nice acidity in the salad.
for the venison
heat frypan to high, season venison with salt and sear to rare. (my steaks took approx. 2.5mins either side). remove from pan, and season with pepper on both sides.
set aside to rest.
put the mesclun and parsley in a bowl. squeeze juice from remaining half a lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. toss through the greens with your hands to coat.
add the remaining ingredients.
slice the venison as desired. grind a generous amount of pepper over each steak.
tip the salad onto a serving platter or onto plates, and then top with the sliced venison.
remove the potatoes from the oven, season liberally with pepper and serve.