Recipe: Roe Deer, Squash, Pear, Chicory
January 4, 2013 | By:
If you fancy a serious cooking challenge, this is not an easy recipe but is a staggeringly beautiful one. Taken from Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian

Photo from Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian

This is a game dish that is ideal when squash is in season in autumn and winter. It uses pennywort, some textures of butternut squash, a roast purée, a roe deer ragu, pumpkin seeds, bitter chocolate, chicory and a braised shoulder of deer. It’s a little bit richer, and perfect for the time of year.

Finishing the dish and presentation

We haven’t put any emphasis on presentation because we want you to create your own interpretation of the dish. Alternatively, you can follow the example shown here.

For the braised roe deer

1kg roe deer shoulder

350ml white chicken stock (see Basics section of the book)

350ml brown chicken stock (see Basics section of the book)

250g lardo

Fine salt to taste

For the roe deer ragu

300g belly pork, minced

100g roe deer shoulder, minced

Sunflower oil

50g shallot, diced

20g garlic, crushed

5g thyme, chopped

5g Douglas Fir pine needles, chopped

Seeds from 5 juniper berries

20g tomato paste

200g fresh tomatoes, chopped

75ml brown chicken stock (see Basics section of the book)

100g toasted pumpkin seeds

Sherry vinegar to taste

Fine salt to taste

For the squash purée

50g shallots, diced

250g pumpkin, skin off and shaved into long strips

50ml white chicken stock (see Basics section of the book)

10g fresh ginger, finely shredded

10g lemongrass, chopped

5g powdered five-spice

For the raw and cooked squash

2 butternut squash, neck end only

Lemon juice to taste

Fine salt to taste

20ml pumpkin oil

For the acidulated chocolate

100g 70% dark chocolate

20ml olive oil

10ml soy sauce

10ml sherry vinegar

You will also need

4 comice pears

2 chicory

50g pennywort

Braised roe deer

Cut the shoulder into 6 even-sized pieces, lightly season with salt. Brown on all sides and place in a pressure cooker. Add the 2 stocks, the whole piece of lardo and seal. Place the pressure cooker on the heat and when up to full pressure, cook for 45 minutes.

Take off the heat and leave for 30 minutes to allow the pressure to release. Strain the liquid from the meat and reduce by two-thirds. Meanwhile, pick the meat and gently break it down. Add the reduced stock.

Remove the lardo and chop into 2cm x 2cm cubes, then add back into the pan. Season to taste. Lay out a piece of clingfilm and spoon the meat over to a thickness of about 8cm. Fold the edge of the clingfilm over the meat, roll into a cylinder and tie both ends up. Refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours to set.

Roe deer ragu

Fry off both meats in a little sunflower oil on high heat. When caramelised, deglaze with the shallot, garlic and the aromatics. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and brown chicken stock. Simmer for around an hour, making sure the liquid is reduced and glossy. Add the fried pumpkin seeds and season with a little salt and sherry vinegar. Set aside until needed.

Squash purée

Fry the shallot in a little sunflower oil on medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the pumpkin and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, lemongrass and five-spice. Cook for 10 minutes until the pumpkin is completely broken down. Add the stock to loosen the mix. Remove the lemongrass. Blend until completely smooth and pass through a chinoise.

Raw and cooked squash

Peel the squash. Trim to make a large rectangle; any trimmings can be used in the purée. Shave 1 of the pieces on a meat slicer at 1mm. The raw slices will be seasoned just before serving with lemon juice, 10ml of pumpkin oil and salt. Allow 2 slices per person.

Cut the other piece into small squares around 20g each. The squares are roasted in a hot pan until charred and seasoned with the remaining pumpkin oil, and salt. Allow 2 pieces per person.

Acidulated chocolate

Heat the chocolate to 42°C in a bain-marie, add the rest of the ingredients and emulsify. Keep warm until needed.


Brown chicken stock

2kg chicken wings

1.5l sunflower oil

1kg unsalted butter

25g tomato purée

Chop each wing into 3 pieces. Fill a deep-fat fryer with half sunflower oil and half butter. Bring to 120°C. Add the wings and ‘fry’ until fully caramelised; this will take around 45 minutes. Remove the wings and pat dry on kitchen towel. Place in a heavy-bottomed pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the tomato purée. Simmer for 5 hours, skimming off any scum throughout the cooking process.

Remove the bones and pass the stock through a fine mesh sieve. Leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Remove any fat that has risen to the top and hardened. Bring the stock to the boil and rapidly reduce to the desired consistency. Pass through a chinoise and store in the fridge until needed.

White chicken stock

2 whole chickens

2 shallots chopped

4 sprigs of thyme

Place the chickens, chopped shallots and the thyme in a pressure cooker and cover with cold water. Bring up to full pressure and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pressure cooker. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Remove any fat that has risen to the top and hardened. Strain the stock again and chill until needed.

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