I confess to being reluctant to drag the Bradley Smoker from the shed when there’s the distinct possibility that there’s going to be a sudden downpour and/or it’s going to be blown over writes Sandra Tate...… but then it may be worth doing it for a 10- 20 minute smoking of venison steak to turn lunch into an Autumnal revelation. Venison is of course very lean, and venison steak deserves to be cooked and served rare, or not at all! Ask your butcher for 2 steaks to be at least 1″ thick – and even at that thickness they’ll weigh in at 150g each – but this is enough as the taste is supreme. Set up the Bradley Smoker with a half a dozen oak bisquettes in the stack and do not heat the cabinet. Allow it to fill with smoke then place 2 steaks on a wire rack and smoke for 10-20 minutes, enough for subtlety and to give an added dimension to the flavour. Set aside.
Rare, Smoky Venison Steak on Rosti – serves 2
Preheat your oven to 220°C Parboil the a large, peeled potato for 12 minutes, drain and cool sufficiently to be able to handle it. Coarsely grate the potato into a bowl containing the 30g melted butter. Peel a small carrot and finely grate into the potato bowl too, adding salt and pepper, turning all to combine. Form the mixture into two rosti patties and place apart on a buttered baking sheet. Bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes to golden and cooked through.
At the same time, sit 3 good sized tomatoes, halved and seeds/core removed, by pushing out with thumbs – like little cups – in a small oven proof dish, sprinkle with sea salt and fill with olive oil. Roast in the oven too but remove as soon as they have shrunk and are tinged with colour. Reclaim the olive oil for later use for salad dressings and spoon some briefly wilted spinach leaves into each half. Keep warm. Cook 100g fine beans in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, toss with a little of the tomato oil to glaze, and keep warm.
Brush your steaks liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan to smoking hot then cook the steaks for 1-2 minutes each side in total, turning every 20 seconds. This will give you great colour and a succulent pink interior. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 6 minutes in a warm place. Return the pan to the stove and add 100ml beef stock. Scrape around the pan to incorporate the meat residues, reduce by half and add a small knob of butter. Swirl the to incorporate, and finally, check seasoning.
Serve venison steak over rosti, surround with vegetables and spoon over some sauce.