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Venison with shallot and onion ragout and garlic mashed spuds

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Venison with shallot and onion ragout and garlic mashed spuds

Blenheim and its surrounding fertile fields are the home of shallots and garlic in New Zealand. Shallots are like pearly baby onions, but grown in a bulb-like formation like garlic. They are delicate in flavour and ideal left whole then braised. In this recipe, the garlic is braised with the shallots, giving a slightly roasted, caramelised taste. I've served it with venison, which is also locally farmed in the Marlborough area.


  • 2 small shallots, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon port wine jelly
  • 2 tablespoons port
  • 500 grams fillet of Cervena venison
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan fry with the shallot ragout

Shallot ragout

  • 16 shallots, peeled
  • 2 onions, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf, optional
  • 12 small mushrooms
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons port wine jelly
  • 12 moist black olives


  1. Finely chop the shallots and garlic. Mix with the pepper, port wine jelly and port.
  2. Place the venison in a container and pour over the marinade. Cover and leave for 2-4 hours.
  3. Heat the olive olive in a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Add the fillet and brown quickly on all sides. Transfer to a 200ºC oven and cook for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Stand for 5 minutes before serving with the shallot ragout and garlic mashed spuds.

Shallot ragout

  1. Divide the shallots into individual cloves or bulbs. Cut the onions in quarters. Chop the garlic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan or oven-proof casserole. Add the onions and brown quickly on the hot oil for about 3-5 minutes until slightly browned.
  3. Add the bay leaf, mushrooms, chicken stock, red wine and port wine jelly and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or transfer to an 180ºC oven for approximately 20 minutes.
  4. Drain off the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and boil until it has reduced to a third. Pour back over the shallots and add the olives. Warm through. Season with pepper and salt.

Garlic mashed spuds

  1. Slice 1 onion into rings. Heat approximately 1 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and cook the rings until they are crispy, but not burned. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
  2. Boil 4 large potatoes until tender. Drain and mash well.
  3. Squeeze half the bulb of garlic into the potatoes and add butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper and add ½ cup of grated cheese. Serve with a garnish of fried crispy onions rings and coarsley chopped chives.

Cooks Tips

- Try beef, pork or lamb with this ragout.

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