When I saw venison short ribs available, I couldn’t resist buying some as I really like beef short ribs cooked sous-vide and was curious what venison short ribs sous-vide would be like. It is important to note that these were short ribs from farmed venison (from New Zealand), as wild venison may require a different time and temperature when cooked sous-vide. From my previous experiences with other cuts of the same venison I made an educated guess that a lower temperature and shorter time would be required compared to regular beef short ribs cooked sous-vide. My educated guess was 36 hours at 55ºC/131ºF, but to be on the safe side I checked after 24 hours. Then they were still slightly chewy, and after 36 hours they were perfect. Still medium rare pink, juicy, and tender.
As I wanted to serve the venison for a dinner party I didn’t want to serve the venison with a lot of fat and connective tissue, and thus had to trim that away (which is only possible with trimming away the bones as well). The only problem was that compared to beef short ribs, they were quite a bit smaller and so after removing all that stuff, what was left was just thin strips of meat. And so I decided to use transglutaminase (meat glue) to turn those trips into a roulade!
I used the trimmings to make a stock, which I then used to make a delicious red wine rosemary venison sauce to be served with the meat. As sides I decided on mushrooms sauteed with parsley and garlic (funghi trifolati) and fava beans. I don’t like fava beans when they are shelled only once, but when they are shelled twice they are quite lovely. The only drawback is that it took me about 20 minutes to end up with 68 grams (2.4 oz) of fava beans, starting with 522 grams (18.4 oz), or a 13% yield.
This dish was a lot of work, but it was absolutely worth it. The meat was very flavorful and the sauce was simply divine. If you don’t want to or don’t have the ability to use sous-vide and transglutaminase, you could still prepare something similar starting with loin of venison and cooking that in the oven to a core temperature of 55ºC/131ºF. The meat would be as juicy and as tender, just not as flavorful as the short ribs cooked sous-vide.
I’ve divided the recipe into five parts: the venison short ribs sous-vide roulade, the red wine rosemary venison sauce, the fava beans, the mushrooms, and finishing the dish.
Venison short ribs sous-vide roulade
The slabs of venison short ribs are quite a bit thinner than beef short ribs. Count on at least 300 grams (.66 lb) per serving, as you will be trimming away more than half (bones, fat, and connective tissue).
Red wine rosemary venison sauce
Roast the trimming and bones to enhance their flavor. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF (fan forced). Combine the trimmings and bones with carrot, tomato, celery stalk, and onion in an oven dish, and toss everything with a bit of olive oil to coat.
Deglaze the oven dish with cold water, scraping with a spatula to get all the tasty browned bits. Use 500 ml of water for each 500 grams of trimming and bones (or 2 cups of water for each pound of trimmings and bones).
Filter the stock and allow to cool completely. A layer of fat will form on top, which you can easily remove with a spoon if the stock has cooled to refrigerator temperatures. The other ingredients you will need to finish the sauce are more fresh rosemary, a chopped shallot, a chopped garlic clove, a bay leaf, and red wine (125 ml or 1/2 cup of red wine for each 500 ml or 2 cups of stock).
Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer until most of the liquid has gone. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Finishing the dish
Take the venison roulade out of the pouch and pat it dry with paper towels.
Pour the fat out of the pan and deglaze the pan with the sauce base. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce has thickened.
Slice the roulade and serve it on warm plates with the mushrooms, the fava beans, and the sauce.
This was outstanding with a Barolo, an Elio Grasso Ginestra Casa Maté 2003 to be precise. Because the sauce has a very ‘ripened’ flavor, the Barolo should be mature and from a warm vintage such as 2003.
Spaghetti with tuna is my “go to” recipe for un unplanned but tasty and healthy meal, as all the required ingredients have a very long shelf life (so I usually have them available) and it doesn’t matter to leave out the optional ingredients. The only things you really need are spaghetti, a can of tuna, a can of peeled tomatoes, salt and olive oil. The taste will be more complex if you do use optional ingredients, but it will still taste fine without them or with just a few of them. Another advantage of this dish is that it takes only about 15 minutes to make.