Venison is a great alternative to beef for this classic dish. Not only is it a truly wild and organic source of protein, but it trumps beef in almost every nutritional metric. It is far leaner, with higher levels of vitamins and minerals per serving. It also has advantages in iron, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin, all important factors when choosing a healthy grass fed red meat for your diet.
For the Wellington, use the loins off a larger deer such as a fallow or a red deer, and once butchered are given a subtle Italian twist by using succulent prosciutto instead of the traditional British pancakes.
1 Venison Loin
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Sheet of All Butter Pastry
Once you have trimmed the venison loin to the desired size and weight, begin by liberally seasoning it with salt and pepper and searing it on all sides in a pan with very hot oil. This will seal in all the juices and ensure the dish stays moist and tender throughout. Once sealed, place to one side and brush the meat with your Dijon mustard to add a little spice. Leave it cool on a wire rack.
Chop your chestnuts mushrooms, and blend together in a food processor with a clove of garlic. Add the paste to a dry pan on a medium heat and stir well to ensure the water and all moisture evaporates from the mushrooms. This is an essential part of the process to avoid a soggy pastry.
On a long-enough sheet of cling film, lay your prosciutto slices down so they are slightly overlapping each other. Spread your mushroom paste (once it is sufficiently dry and cool) over the prosciutto and place your venison on top.
Using the clingfilm, begin to roll the Wellington until it completely enclosed. Secure the clingfilm at the ends, pushing the Wellington into a cylindrical shape and leave in the fridge for an hour to set.
Once set, roll out your pastry onto a fresh sheet of clingfilm, use the clingfilm to roll onto the pastry until it just overlaps. Trim any excess pastry and, once fully encased in both pastry and clingfilm, leave to rest overnight in the fridge.
The next day, preheat your oven to 200°C. Remove the Wellington from the clingfilm, and give it a good egg wash. Score the pastry with the back of a knife, for added aesthetics being careful not to actually cut into it and expose the prosciutto.
Place in the oven with an internal temperature probe and cook until the internal probe reaches 55°C for medium rare. It should take 30-40 mins. Remove and leave to rest for 10 mins, so the meat can reabsorb its juices before bringing to the table to carve and serve. Enjoy!