Every year my family tucks in to the traditional turkey on Christmas Day, and I love it. This year, though, there will be only three of us, and with the best will in the world, and despite the valiantly gluttonous efforts of our dog, I think a whole turkey will outface us all.
So, after much discussion, we have decided to go with a total change – reindeer steak. Even though my husband said this would be the equivalent of eating Santa’s Little Helper on Christmas Day, I think I’ve managed to persuade him to come round to the idea, and the following recipe has made him accept it with gusto.
So, with thanks to Gordon Ramsey and a few little alterations, here’s our Christmas Day reindeer stew recipe!
200g smoked bacon lardons or pancetta
800g reindeer meat cut into chunks
1 turnip, peeled and sliced
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced
1 large bulb of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp cloudberries (what are these? am substituting cranberries)
2 tbsp blueberries (can’t find in the village. cranberries again)
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ bottle red wine
20g of grated dark chocolate (hmm. I don’t know! Will this really work OK? If it doesn’t -Gordon, you’ve ruined the Fairfax Christmas!)
salt and pepper
a handful of snow (may have to be rain water)
1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Once hot, add the bacon lardons and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the reindeer chunks, season with salt and pepper and allow to colour.
2. Stir in the turnip, red onion, garlic and carrot and continue to heat for 4-5 minutes to lightly colour the vegetables, then stir in the cloudberries and blueberries.
3. Add the red wine vinegar to the pan and swirl to deglaze. Pour in the red wine, bring to the boil and allow to reduce for approximately 8-10 minutes or until syrupy.
4. Add a handful of snow (or half a cup of water), bring back to the boil and then continue to simmer for a further 8-10 minutes until thickened.
5. Grate in the dark chocolate, heat for a further minute until thickened and nicely glazed. Correct the seasoning accordingly and serve at once.
Cheers, Gordon! Merry Christmas!