Frederic Souty's venison is cooked in the Aga proving oven overnight, then finished off with Valrhona chocolate before you serve it.
1 leg of venison 3.5 to 4 kg (sliced 2cm thick through the bone, get your butcher to do it) 4 carrots 4 onions 1 celery 1 leek 4 large Portobello mushrooms 75g lard 4 bay leaves 5 sprigs of thyme 300g streaky bacon 300g of roasted chestnuts whole black pepper great sea salt 2 bottles of red wine 250g Valrhona-Bar Le Noir Amer 71%/Guanaja 70%
1. Season the venison slices and brown the venison in lard. Make sure your pan is scorching, to give a nice colour. Transfer to a cast iron pot. 2. Chop the carrots, onions, leeks and celery in a chunky fashion. Brown in the same pan as the venison and then add to cast iron pot. 3. Slice steaky bacon into strips, sauté in pan (using same pan) and add to the cast iron pot. 4. Cut portobellos into quarters, sauté quickly, add to the cast iron pot and add thyme, bay leaves and roasted chestnusts. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. 5. De-glaze the pan with 2 glasses of red wine and pour over the venison. 6. Cover with the remaining red wine. 7. Cover the pot and place in your Aga proving oven at 120ºC. Allow to cook overnight for 8-10 hours. 8. The following day, once the dish has cooled down, remove the meat from the pot and place on a baking tray. Bring your cooking liquor to the boil. If necessary, reduce the cooking liquor to allow the sauce to thicken. Season and at the last minute, add the Valrhona chocolate. Do not boil after the chocolate has been added. 9. Add the venison to the sauce and reheat on the side of the Aga. Keep warm and serve.