This simple recipe by Mark Gough cooks the perfect muntjac haunch steaks and is served with sauted potatoes, buttered spinach and peas. Serves two.
When he’s not out shooting, Mark Gough is the Head Chef at The Finch’s Arms in Hambleton – a traditional 17th century English country inn, with beamed ceilings, cask ales and a small bustling bar with magnificent views overlooking Rutland Water.
Formerly the proprietor of the Tollemache Arms in Buckminster, Leicestershire, Mark has also been chef at the Restaurant Pierre Orsi, Lyons and Raymond Blanc’s le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons in Oxford.
This venison recipe is designed to follow preparing a haunch of muntjac and really does the fresh meat justice.
- Haunch of muntjac
- 1 bag baby spinach
- Handful of peas
- 6 juniper berries, crushed
- Jersey Royal new potatoes (pre boiled)
- Salt, pepper and sugar
- Crush and chop the juniper berries
- Sprinkle the crushed juniper berries over the steaks along with rock salt, pepper and a sprinkle of sugar
- Drizzle oil over the steaks to make everything stick
- Thinly slice the pre-boiled potatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and saute on a medium heat until golden brown
- At the same time heat a pan with a splash of oil in and place the muntjac steaks in. Add the butter and garlic clove and pan fry on a medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 14 minutes
- Take off the heat and rest for a further five minutes
- Serve with buttered spinach and peas
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Notes on muntjac
- There is no close season for muntjac, both sexes may be shot all year round. However to avoid orphaning dependent young it is recommended that only smaller young does or clearly pregnant mature ones are taken.
- Muntjac are widespread across central and southern England, with a more restricted presence in Wales. They are not established in Scotland.
- Their small size means they blend into cover like a magician, only to reappear moments later where you aren’t expecting them.
- Generally muntjac graze while meandering, requiring quick and steady shooting at a comparatively small target.
- What arrived as a fanciful ornament a century ago is now one of our finest sporting challenges.