Game on

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The final instalment of my cooking course was all to do with game. Again we prepared two dishes:

  • Salmi de pintadeau, au raisin, sauce porto
  • Filet de biche façon grand veneur

That’s guinea fowl and roedeer, I think, only found out using the online translator the day after the course.

Let’s start with the simpler dish first. The filet de biche was just seasoned lightly and panfried. Of course the difference was in the sauce, the base of which was a fond de gibier. Alain had some on the go from lunchtime, but you could start off with a fond de veau powder from the supermarket, add some gelée de groseille (red currant??) and dissolve, then add some grosseile and cream and just before serving add some raspberries.

This was served with a mixture of mushrooms, pleurotes, morriles and champignon de paris, each sauted separately in butter with a bit of sjalot. In addition we had some pears and apples sauteed in butter and seasoned with a bit of pepper and salt.

The pintadeau was put in a hot (200 deg C) oven for about 15 minutes (vert cuit), enough too get the outside cooked but keeping the inside still raw. After taking the birds out of the oven we cut off the legs and filets, which are laid out in an oven dish, sprinkled with some cognac and covered in cling-film. This then gets put away somewhere warm, so that it can keep cooking very slowly for at least an hour. This bit went a bit wrong, I guess the temperature wasn’t quite right and after an hour, in particular the legs were still raw. If you want this to work you need an oven that can be set at a low temperature (say 5o deg C), in our case they were left on a shelf above the hob and this was clearly not warm enough. Alternatively, you could just give them another blast of heat in a very hot oven, say 15 minutes at 200 deg C.

and used the carcas to start the fond.  Start by browing the bits of carcas in some olive oil, then add some some vegetables like onion carrots etc and deglace with a swig of porto (just pour it in and use it to loosen the brown bits at the bottom of the pan), before adding enough of a powder based fond to cover the carcas and veg. In our case we used a fond de veau. After letting this simmer slowly for about an hour put everything through a chinois and keep the fluid, your fond de pintadeau.  Of course this was only the start of the sauce. We also need a “gastrique”, a mixture of sugar molten in vinegar or port (make sure not to caramelise this). To finish the sauce add a few ladels of the fond de pintadeau to the gastrique, keep the sauce boiling while you do this. Finally melt in some butter and take off the heat.

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