Grama’s Rosemary and Garlic Crab Apple Jelly

Image of apple treeWe have a small tree on the edge of our driveway, half buried in an overgrown laurel hedge. We barely noticed it until one year it started raining little green apples.

It turned out to be a sort of crab apple, or perhaps more correctly, a domesticated variety that had reverted to its wild state. Maybe someone dropped an apple core there many years ago.

The fruits are small and quite sour so I used them to make this jelly, which arrived in Suffolk from the United States via Northern Ireland.

I should explain. It began, from my point of view, with a Twitter conversation about jams and jellies with Erick from @picturebelfast. But the recipe, which he kindly shared, may go back much further. It comes from his grandmother, who he calls Grama, a lady called Carol Golden who lives in farming country in upstate New York. It is written on a small card kept in a tin bin where she stores recipes passed down through the family, from her own grandmother through to the current generation.

“She is the daughter of a dairy farmer,” Erick told me. “She’s known for being a grandma to everyone. She has cookie parties and canning parties for all the generations of kids to pass down her knowledge in a fun way.” If that makes her sound like a character from Little House on the Prairie, you should know she went to university after her kids were grown up and earned a master’s degree in early childhood education.

Grama adds, I’m told, a lot more garlic than is listed below so I don’t think she’ll mind if I say feel free to adapt it to your own tastes. Her family traditionally eats it with goose but it’s also excellent with lamb and pork. Recent guests at our house devoured an entire jar at one sitting.

The original quantities, given here with metric equivalents, are large so if you have fewer apples, reduce the amount of onions, vinegar, rosemary and garlic in ratio or to taste.

Grama's Rosemary and Garlic Crab Apple Jelly

  • Servings: makes 6-8 small to medium jars
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Image of jelly spooned from jar

Ingredients:

4 US quarts (about 2.25 kg) of crab apples

3 large onions

3/4 US cup (180 ml) white vinegar; I used white wine vinegar but cider vinegar would be good too

Handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (or more, to taste)

Sugar, equal to liquid after straining (see method)

Image of a basket of crab apples

Method:

Remove the stems, flower ends and any blemishes from the crab apples. Cut in half and add to a stock pot. Mine were bigger than normal so I chopped them roughly.

Peel the onions, chop into large chunks and mix into the crab apples. Add water to the level of fruit. Bring to a boil and simmer until apples are soft, about 30-45 minutes. Mash gently just to break open the apples “but not so much,” says Grama, as “to make mush”.

Image of the simmered apples and onions

Strain in a jelly bag overnight without pressing the juice through, or your jelly will be cloudy. Measure the resulting liquid and pour it into a clean pot. Add the vinegar.

For every ml of liquid measured, weigh out the same in grams of sugar (or if using US measurements, a cup for a cup). Add it to the pan, with the chopped rosemary and garlic. Bring it up to heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Bring to the boil and bubble until the jelly reaches setting point, 105C with a jam thermometer or when a spoonful placed on a chilled saucer wrinkles after a few minutes when you push it with your finger. Ladle into sterilised jars and seal.

For safety’s sake, Grama’s instructions are to cook until the jelly begins to sheet/set then heat the filled and sealed jars in a water bath for 15 minutes, but I didn’t and my original batch kept for 12 months without a problem … the choice is yours.

Image of filled jars

Courgette Tarte Tatin

The salad drawer is stuffed, the neighbours are avoiding me and Him Outdoors is mumbling about trip hazards on the garden path. Even the hens have developed an aversion. Yes, the courgettes are running amok again.

H.O. points out that if we grew fewer plants we wouldn’t have a problem. But I always worry that if we only plant a couple, the slugs will eat them and – shock! horror! – I would have to buy my courgettes. So I’m always on the look-out for recipes to use the surplus.

This courgette tarte tatin makes a tasty vegetarian meal for at least four people, needing only a salad on the side, though of course you can serve it with meat or fish if you want to.

You’ll need a pan about 24 cm in diameter. If you can source both green and yellow courgettes to alternate the circles, it looks rather pretty.

Courgette Tarte Tatin

Image of courgette tarte tatin

Ingredients:

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and chopped

4-6 small courgettes (about 400g in total), sliced into thick pennies

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

About 120g cheese, diced (I used a lightly smoked sheeps’ cheese but a hard goats’ cheese would work, or try a crumbled caerphilly)

1 sheet of all-butter puff pastry

Small handful of toasted pine nuts

Image of ingredients for courgette tarte tatin

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Heat the oil in the pan and gently fry the onions until soft and golden. Season with salt and pepper, add the thyme leaves and remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside.

In the remaining oil, cook the courgette slices, in batches if necessary, adding a little more oil if required. When they’re just softened, remove from the heat and scoop onto a plate.

Make sure the pan is well-greased, including the sides, then once the courgettes are cool enough to handle, put them back in the pan, arranged in overlapping concentric circles. Grind over a little salt and pepper.

Image of courgettes arranged in pan

Scatter the onions evenly over the courgettes and top with the cheese. Try not to get any of the cheese in contact with the base of the pan or you will struggle to turn out your tart.

Roll out the puff pastry until you can cut a circle a little larger than the diameter of the pan. Place it over the vegetables and cheese, tucking the edges down and around. Prick with a fork. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked and golden.

Image of tart before turning out

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes, but it’ll be easier to turn out while it’s still hot. Run a knife gently around the edges then, using oven gloves or a thick cloth, put a serving plate over the pan and invert it.

If any courgette sticks to the pan, just tuck it back in place. Scatter with toasted pine nuts and serve.

Image of tart, sliced

Melon Salad

Image of cookery book and dressingOne of the oldest cookery books I possess … not oldest in terms of age, oldest in that I’ve had it most of my adult life … is a hefty tome published by Reader’s Digest back in 1973, The Cookery Year. I can’t remember where I got it from or when but it travelled with me everywhere in my peripatetic youth.

Looking at it now some of the recipes seem a bit dated but there are some absolute classics in there and it was produced in that golden age when publishers employed editors, home economists and recipe testers, sadly not always the case in these cash-strapped times. Everything works.

The individual recipes aren’t attributed but the list of writers in the front includes some stellar names: Derek Cooper, Margaret Costa, Jane Grigson, Ken Lo, Katie Stewart. I don’t know who was responsible for this refreshing melon salad, but I’ve made it on and off for years and it’s a lovely start to a meal.

The original recipe calls for honeydew melon or, ‘for a special occasion’, Ogen or Charentais. I like it best with these smaller, highly perfumed fruits but I think it would also work with a good, juicy watermelon.

Whichever you choose, make sure it’s perfectly ripe as unripe melon is simply not worth the bother. The way to tell is to bring them to your nose and give them a good sniff. If they smell strongly of melon flesh, they’re ripe. If there’s a hint of turpentine, they’re over-ripe. If you can’t smell anything, put them back and eat something else.

I give the original vinaigrette below but I used the bitter-sweet, orange-scented The Colonel’s Poppy Seed Dressing from Suffolk company Scarlett and Mustard, which worked very well with the melon.

Melon Salad

Image of ingredients for melon salad

Ingredients:

1 Charentais, Canteloupe or Ogen melon

1 smallish cucumber

6 tomatoes

Salt and black pepper

1 dessertspoon each of fresh chopped mint, chives, and parsley or chervil

For the dressing:

1-2 level tbsp caster sugar

3 tbsp lemon juice or tarragon vinegar

6 tbsp light olive oil

Image of melon salad

Method:

Peel and de-seed the cucumber, cut into 1/2″ dice and place in a sieve over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes.

Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds. Peel and dice, or if you have anything as recherché as a melon baller, scoop into small balls.

Skin and de-seed the tomatoes and cut into dice.  Rinse the cucumber under cold water and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Put all the fruits into a bowl and mix with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can either save the herbs to use as a garnish or stir them through the salad. Chill before serving in individual glass bowls or cups. 

Courgette Combo

I can’t go all posh and French on you and call this a salade composée because technically that describes a collection of ingredients arranged in tidy, separate piles in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

This combination salad is tossed together in a messy but delicious way. It takes its inspiration from Mediterranean cuisines, containing as it does mograbiah (giant couscous), bulgur wheat, olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes and lemons. But the stars of the show are the courgettes and herbs. You can never have too many courgette recipes if you grow your own. They make triffids look like amateurs.

It is a lovely summer salad and stands up well to being made the day before for a desktop lunch or or picnic. You can eat it as a stand-alone dish or add crumbled feta, grilled halloumi, barbecued meats, cold cuts … we had it with this very good pork and peppercorn terrine from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

And of course you can switch the grains according to what you have available and in whatever combination pleases you … mograbiah, ordinary couscous, bulgur wheat, or maybe brown and/or wild rice.

Courgette Combo

Image of courgette combo salad

Ingredients:

100g mograbiah (giant couscous), prepared according to packet instructions

30g bulgur wheat

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 small red onion, cut into thin half moons

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

4 small courgettes or 2 large

Handful of pine nuts

1 heaped tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped

Handful of black olives, pitted and halved

1 tbsp capers, drained

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

2 heaped tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper, to taste

Image of courgette combo salad

Method:

Slice the courgettes into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler, or spiralise them. Set aside. Prepare the mograbiah, drain and cool. Put the bulgar wheat at the bottom of a serving bowl.

Heat the oil in a deep pan and cook the sliced onions and garlic on a medium heat until lightly tinged with gold. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of the bulgar wheat, without stirring.

In the same pan, toss the courgettes ribbons in the oil and cook briefly until just wilted but not coloured. Add to the pile on top of the bulgar wheat.

Toast the pine nuts in the remaining oil until golden, stirring to prevent them burning, otherwise they’ll be bitter. Add, with any oil still in the pan, to the bowl along with the mograbiah, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and capers. Do not stir!

Zest the lemon over everything and squeeze over the juice. Grind over a little sea salt and black pepper. Cover with cling film and leave for an hour or more, so the bulgur wheat in the bottom softens as the dressing percolates down.

When you’re ready to eat, add the chopped herbs and toss well to mix. Check the seasoning and serve garnished with a few more sprigs of herbs.

Image of courgette salad served with terrine

Pissaladière

The first time I ate pissaladière was many years ago in France, on a camping holiday with my family. None of us are good at languages, frankly, but I was the only one unembarrassed enough to actually employ my halting schoolgirl French. So I was the one who got sent into the traiteur to buy delicious ready-to-eat food.

That meant I got to pick what we ate, most days, although my mother and sister could sometimes be seen hovering awkwardly in the doorway, hissing sotto voce instructions. Yes, we were that English family, the one that made you slide your sunglasses down over your face and pretend to be of a different nationality entirely. Still, we ate well.

Pissaladière originated in Nice, in the south of France. A sort of Provençal take on the pizza, it has a base of bread dough (though you can use puff pastry) topped with caramelised onions and a lattice of anchovies dotted with black olives. It is divine.

For one 28 cm pie I used a third of the pizza dough detailed here. It was more than enough as a main course for two people, could be stretched to four with an array of salads, or cut into small bites as a nibble. The secret of a good pissaladière lies in the long, slow cooking of the onions. They will take two to three hours, but you can pre-cook them the day before and refrigerate them until needed.

Pissaladière

  • Servings: 2 generously
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Image of pissaladière, cooked

Ingredients:

1 quantity of pizza dough, as above

6 medium to large onions, peeled and sliced into thin half moons

2 tbsn butter + 1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

Anchovies (equivalent to 1-2 tins)

Pitted black olives

Method:

In a deep, heavy-based pan, melt the butter with the oil. Add the sliced onions and cook very, very slowly on a low heat until they are collapsed and caramelised. As mentioned earlier, this will take hours. It will look like a ridiculously large quantity of onions to begin with but they’ll go from this ….

Image of uncooked onions

… to this. Keep an eye on them towards the end as they can catch and burn, so stir them from time to time. Once they’re done, remove from the heat, add the thyme leaves and salt and pepper to taste (remembering the anchovies and olives will be salty) and allow to cool.

Image of cooked onions

At least 20 minutes before you want to eat, pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7, and place a baking sheet or pizza stone in to heat up.

Roll out the pizza dough on a well-floured board to about 28cm in diameter. Spread the onions on top, leaving a small border round the edges. Arrange the anchovies in a lattice pattern on top and pop an olive into each diamond.

Image of pissaladière ready for oven

Slide onto the pre-heated baking sheet/pizza stone and bake for about 10 minutes until the dough has crisped and darkened.

Cut into slices and eat hot or cold. Good with a range of salads.

Image of pissaladière, sliced

Crab and Avocado Summer Rolls

I was feeling crabby the other day. Not in the sense that I was cross and cranky, perish the thought. I was in the mood to eat some succulent Cromer crab.

It’s so good that I’ll usually eat it simply in a salad or, were it not for the fact that Him Outdoors has an aversion to pasta, tossed though some linguine. As he does, I was forced to get a bit more creative.

This is a crustacean-lover’s version of the vegetarian summer rolls I made recently and I think it’s a winner. If you don’t like crab meat (why ever not?) you can substitute cooked prawns. Don’t omit the dipping sauce though, as it really livens up the gentle flavours of the filling.

We ate the summer rolls as a main course with a cucumber sangchae (a spicy Korean salad) but they’re good as a starter too.

Crab and Avocado Summer Rolls

Image of crab and avocado summer rolls

Ingredients:

6 large summer roll wrappers

1 fresh dressed crab

Salt, pepper and lemon juice, to season the crab meat

1/2 ripe avocado, sliced and tossed with lime juice

Handful of beansprouts

1 small carrot, grated or cut into batons

Handful of thin rice noodles

1/4 cucumber, peeled and cut into thin batons

1 spring onion, shredded lengthways

6 Thai basil leaves (or coriander leaves)

A small bundle of chives

For the dipping sauce:

Juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tspn caster sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 small red chilli, finely sliced

Image of summer roll ingredients

Method:

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients for the dipping sauce until the sugar has dissolved and set aside. Prepare the rice noodles according to the packet instructions, run under cold water to arrest further cooking, and drain well.

Remove the crab meat from its shell and place in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste and stir with a fork so the white meat is mixed in with the brown. Prepare the vegetables as detailed above. Ready to roll? Here goes …

Fill a large bowl with cold water and working one at a time, dunk the summer roll wrappers, patting them with your fingers until they’re soft enough to handle. Don’t let them get too soggy otherwise they’ll tear.

Lift the wrapper out, allowing the excess water to drip back into the bowl, and place it on your work surface. About a third of the way up, lay a few noodles, some beansprouts, a little shredded carrot and cucumber, a couple of chives, a sliver or two of avocado and one sixth of the crab meat. Don’t over-fill it or it will split.

Image of roll being filled

Turn the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and fold in the sides, rolling towards the top as tightly as you can. Just before you do the final fold, place a Thai basil or coriander leaf on the wrapper and roll up so the leaf shows through. Place seam-side down on a plate and repeat until you’ve filled all the rolls.

Cover loosely with cling film and refrigerate until needed but remove from the fridge 10 minutes before you want to eat. Serve with individual bowls of the dipping sauce.

Image of crab and avocado summer rolls with dipping sauce and cucumber sangchae

Stuffed Sardines

Image of boned sardines on a pewter plate

It’s a funny old world. Our Cornish pilchards have undergone a re-branding of late and are often now known as Cornish sardines. Presumably this is because as a nation we’re keener to eat sardines, redolent of sunny Mediterranean holidays, than pilchards, which some of us associate with less-than-stellar canned fish (although done well, a tinned pilchard is a thing of beauty).

There’s some confusion as to the difference between the two but the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority says a sardine is a young pilchard and that’s good enough for me. They are excellent simply seasoned, rubbed with a little oil and slipped onto a barbecue but this dish is Mediterranean in inspiration. It makes a good summer lunch or supper.

I bought my sardines ready prepped and butterflied from the excellent Mummery Bros of Lowestoft. Otherwise, have a look at this video. It’s very quick and easy. Normally I use pine nuts in this recipe but I ran out, so I substituted chopped pistachios. It turned out to be a happy accident.

Stuffed Sardines

Image of baked sardines

Ingredients:

9-12 boned sardines

3-4 heaped tbsp soft breadcrumbs

30g pine nuts or chopped pistachios

Pinch of sugar

3 anchovies, pounded to a paste

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp finely chopped onion

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Lemon wedges, to serve

Method:

Image of stuffed sardines ready for ovenHeat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 4.

Sauté the breadcrumbs in olive oil until lightly browned. Place in a bowl and add the pounded anchovies, nuts, sugar, lemon zest, chopped parsley and onion and a good grind of salt and black pepper. Mix well.

Rub a shallow baking dish with a little oil. Put some of the stuffing into the cavity of each fish. Lay them side by side in the dish in a single layer. Sprinkle any remaining stuffing on top and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Squeeze lots of lemon juice over them and serve, garnished with a little more parsley.

Image of baked sardines [/recipe/]

Sole with Nasturtium Butter and Cockle Popcorn

Image of nasturtium flower

I’ve been longing to make nasturtium butter ever since I read about it in a Jane Grigson book and have been waiting impatiently for the nasturtiums to flower. In the end I raided the gardens of a couple of friends as our plants were slow to oblige.

As for the cockle popcorn, it’s a revelation if you haven’t tried it: crisp-edged little morsels that taste of the sea. I used it here with sole but it makes a great snack or pre-dinner appetiser, especially with a glass of dry, chilled, sea-salty manzanilla sherry.

Lacking a lemon sole to sell me, our local fishmonger mused for a moment, took a closer look at me and suggested witch. He had the best of intentions.

Witch, also known as Torbay sole (purely for reasons of marketing, the name witch can be a hard sell), is a flounder from the same family as lemon sole and plaice. It can be very good value and it was the perfect basis for this dish, but any similar flatfish will do nicely.

Sole with Nasturtium Butter and Cockle Popcorn

Image of Sole with Nasturtium Butter and Cockle Popcorn

Ingredients:

2 sole fillets

2 tbsp plain flour

Salt and pepper, butter for frying

Lemon wedges, to serve

For the nasturtium butter:

100g butter, softened

3 tbsp nasturtium petals, chopped

Squeeze of lemon juice

Black pepper

For the cockle popcorn:

About 90g cooked cockles

2 heaped tbsp cornflour

Salt and pepper

Oil for frying

Method:

Image of nasturtium petals

To make the nasturtium butter, chop the petals from the nasturtiums and mix them into the softened butter with a good grind of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a sausage shape, twisting the ends, and place in the fridge to firm up.

Put the flour on a plate and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the sole fillets into the flour so they’re lightly coated on both sides. Shake off the excess.

Heat a big knob of a butter on a medium heat in a frying pan big enough to hold both fillets of fish, and fry, skin-side down, until the edges of the fish turn white, a couple of minutes.

Image of sole frying

Carefully turn over and cook the other side for a minute or so. Remove, right side up, to heated plates. Cut a couple of slices of butter and put some on each fillet.

Any leftover butter can be frozen, well-wrapped, for a couple of months.

Image of butter added to fish

Meanwhile heat a couple of inches of sunflower oil in a wok or deep frying pan (or use a deep fat fryer if you have one, filling it to the correct level) until very hot.

Put the cornflour in a bowl, season well with salt and pepper and dredge the cockles through it.

Dust off the excess flour and put the cockles in the wok, cooking until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and add to the plates of fish. Eat immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Image of cockle popcorn

Chilli Prawn Pops with Roasted Lime

I could probably write an entire cookery book featuring chillies as I seem to be putting them in everything at the moment, although sadly no publisher has yet beaten a path to my door brandishing a contract.

These absurdly cute prawn lollipops would definitely merit a page to themselves though. They make a good starter but they’d also be good as part of a barbecue feast. They take only minutes to prepare and cook, though you do have to factor in the marinating time.

Chilli Prawn Pops with Roasted Lime

Image of chilli prawns pops on the griddle

Ingredients:

16 raw king prawns, shelled and de-veined

100 ml sweet chilli sauce

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 thumb of ginger, peeled and grated

Zest of 1 lime

2 limes, halved

Oil, for cooking

Method:

Image of prawns in marinadeMix the chilli sauce with the garlic, ginger and lime zest and pour over the prepared prawns. Cover and marinate in the fridge for two to four hours.

Image of chilli prawn pops, served with limeTwenty minutes before you want to eat, soak eight wooden skewers in water so they won’t burn (or use metal skewers).

Take the prawns out of their marinade and curl two together, ying and yang, so they form a round lollipop shape. Push them onto  the end of a skewer. Repeat until you’ve used all 16 prawns. Brush them with oil.

Heat a barbecue, griddle or large, heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Cook the prawns for a minute or two each side, until they’re pink and lightly charred. At the same time, griddle the lime halves, cut side down, for two minutes.

Serve immediately with the griddled lime to squeeze over.

Haunch of Venison with Pickled Cherries

Image of Jackie with a plate of food

Jackie prepares to tuck in

I tend to associate game with the autumn and winter months but a haunch of venison, cooked pink, is delicious at any time of the year and cherries are in season now. You don’t have to pickle the cherries … try adding the fresh, stoned fruit to the pan instead, or make a sauce using redcurrant jelly, ideally with pickled or fresh redcurrants thrown in at the last moment.

You can cook a venison haunch on the bone but it’s a lot easier to carve if it’s boned out. Because venison is very lean it can dry out in the oven. The traditional way to combat this is to lard the meat, threading pieces of fat through it with something that looks like a large darning needle. Frankly, life is too short.

Alternatively you can cover it with streaky, but that imparts too much of a bacony flavour for my taste. So I opted to wrap mine in beautifully lacy caul fat, often used to encase faggots or rissoles. It has a tracery rather like the veins on a cabbage leaf and it will melt into the meat, basting it as it cooks. As nobody seems to make faggots any more, you may have to order it from your butcher specially. Any excess will freeze well.

I like a sauce that clings a little. If you prefer a jus, omit the flour.

Roast Haunch of Venison with Pickled Cherries

Image of venison haunch, carved

Ingredients:

1 boned haunch of venison (mine weighed 1.8 kg)

1 tspn coriander seeds

1 tspn black peppercorns

1/2 tspn salt flakes

4 fresh bay leaves

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

1 quantity of caul fat

For the sauce:

The pan juices, de-glazed of fat

1 small jar of pickled cherries, or a double handful of fresh cherries, stoned

1 small glass red wine

200 ml chicken or game stock

1 tbsp plain flour

Image of venison with spice rub and herbs

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 5.

Grind the coriander seeds, peppercorns and salt with a mortar and pestle until fine but not completely powdered. Rub the spices over the venison and place the herbs on top of the meat. Wrap the joint in the caul fat, tucking the ends underneath.

Image of venison haunch wrapped in caul fat

Roast for 20 minutes if the joint is under 2 kg, for 30 minutes if it’s over 2 kg. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3 and roast for a further 12 minutes per 500g for medium-rare, 10 minutes per 500g if you prefer it rare.

If you’re using a meat thermometer, you’re looking for an internal temperature of 60C for medium, 55C for rare.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest somewhere warm for 15-20 minutes while you make the sauce.

Image of venison, cooked

Spoon off any excess fat then put the pan on the hob on a low heat and stir in the flour. Cook for a minute or two then pour in the red wine. Let it sizzle up, scraping all the meaty bits in the bottom of the pan.

Add the stock and increase the heat, cooking until the sauce has reduced and intensified. Add the cherries and a dash of their pickling liquor and heat through.

Carve the meat, scraping away the herbs, and serve with the sauce and the vegetables of your choice.

Image of venison served with pickled cherry sauce