Little Karoo Venison Parcels

p119Just outside Barrydale, in the Tradouw Valley, Country Chef Beate Joubert gives authentic boerekos a Mediterranean twist. These Little Karoo Venison Parcels are as tasty as they are gorgeous to look at on your dining table.

Serves 8–10

Filling:

  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 800g venison, cut up (with bones)
  • 600g lamb or pork rib cutlets
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • salt and freshly ground black
  • pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    and chopped
  • 1½ cups diced streaky bacon
  • 1 cup chopped brown mushrooms
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh chilli
  • 3 cups venison stock (from cooking liquid)
  • ½ cup port
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup finely chopped dates
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbs garlic salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup pitted and quartered prunes

Pastry:

  • 500g phyllo pastry
  • melted butter for brushing
  • a handful of garlic chives
  • quince jelly
  • 2 cups syrup from quince preserve
  • 1 cup sugar
  • star anise
  • 1 tbs gelatine powder

Method:

  1. To make the quince jelly, heat the quince syrup, sugar and star anise in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the star anise. Add the gelatine to a little lukewarm water and leave to sponge. When ready, whisk the gelatine into the syrup mixture. Pour the mixture into 8–10 ramekins and refrigate for a few hours until set.
  2. For the filling, use a pestle and mortar to grind the peppercorns, juniper berries and whole cloves until fine. Add the mixture, along with the venison and lamb or pork ribs, bay leaves, mixed spice, salt and pepper, vinegar and beef stock to a pressure cooker and cook until tender. Debone the meat (discarding the bones) and remove the spices, but reserve the cooking liquid until needed. In a large, deep pan, heat the butter then brown the onions, garlic, bacon and mushrooms. Add the deboned meat, celery, ginger, chilli, venison cooking liquid, port, lemon juice, dates, tomato paste, garlic salt, pepper, vinegar and prunes. Stir while cooking, until the liquid has reduced enough for the filling not to be over-sauced when wrapped in the pastry.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a baking tray. Brush all the sheets of phyllo pastry (there should be 8–12) with melted butter, then cut each sheet into 4 squares. Stack 4 squares on top of one another in a star formation. Repeat with the remaining squares. Cover with a damp cloth to prevent the stacks from drying out.
  4. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling into the centre of each phyllo stack. Draw the corners together and twist
    to form parcels. Dip the ends of the chives in boiling water, then tie a chive ‘strand’ around the neck of each parcel. Brush the ends of the pastry with more melted butter. Arrange the parcels on the prepared baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until pale golden-brown and crisp.

Wine suggestion: Joubert-Tradauw Syrah 2013

Chef’s Tip: Serve each venison parcel with a ramekin of quince jelly, brown rice, whole, fine green beans, mange tout, chives and brussel sprouts fried in butter and topped with toasted almond flakes.

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