This dish was the result of an early morning mushroom picking session, it was before sun rise and we were walking through the forest in near complete darkness en route to our secret spot for chanterelles. As visibility was so low the smells of the forest around us was heightened, especially the pine trees.
As the sun rose through the trees and we reached our destination all that was around us became the inspiration for the dish, mushrooms, moss, brambles, wood sorrel, we climbed the last hill and off to our left a roe deer fawn bounced out of the bracken and down the hill. The final element of our forest gathering plate.
Never gather wild ingredients you aren’t 100% sure of their edibility, the wrong identification can be deadly. Always seek the advice of an expert before you delve into this hidden world around us.
One saddle of Venison
500g Scots Pine needles
1 litre Rapeseed Oil
Maltodextrina Tapioca Powder
50g Castor Sugar
50g White Wine Vinegar
Reindeer Moss or 1 Small Cabbage
For the Carpaccio remove the loins from a saddle and trim any excess sinew from the meat. In an extremely hot pan evenly seal the loin. Don’t season the meat yet as this will just scorch in the heat, while cooling roll the loin in onion ash. This is simply barbequed onions until they reach a blackened state, dried out and blended to a powder. Finally wrap tightly in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Scots Pine powder, collect the branches from a medium sized tree, take care not to damage the tree allowing the clipping to grow back. Remove the needles and infuse 500g in 1 litre of rapeseed oil at 20 degrees Celsius for 2 days. When infused strain the oil and mix a small amount of the oil with tapioca maltodextrina to create a pine powder.
Bramble dressing, for the dressing select the least ripe berries(but not the ones that are still red) cover in salt for 2 hours and rinse. Boil equal amounts of water, sugar and white wine vinegar, allow to cool slightly and pour over the brambles and steep. This can be kept for months in a clean, sterilised jar.
Reindeer moss isn’t available to all so could be exchanged for cabbage or kale. We collect the moss, being extremely careful we have the right species, once collected its soaked in water and sterilising tablets for 15 minutes and then well rinsed, spun in a salad spinner and dried. Once dried we deep fry it at 160 degrees celcius and dust it with cep powder as soon as it leaves the oil. Cep powder is all the large ceps we have picked, dried and blended into a powder to use all year round.
For the chanterelles, we simply cook them very gently in an emulsion of water and butter making sure they retain some texture.
To assemble the dish, thinly slice the carpaccio and season with juniper salt, (dried juniper blended with sea salt) arrange the moss on the plate and drape the venison around this. Place the rest of the elements around the moss, including the mushroom emulsion so that the diner gets all the elements on their fork when they eat it. Finish with scattered wood sorrel.
Every element has a reason pine for aroma when you swallow it, citrus elements of sorrel, acidic berries, umami cep, sweet chanterelles and charred venison.
Find out more about Chef Stovold and his newly Michelin-starred cuisine atthe Isle of Eriksa ateriska-hotel.co.uk.