Reindeer in creamy cider sauce


Here's another comforting wintry recipe, there will be lots of stews ahead, just warning y'all. (Too much Pioneer Woman lately, soz.) But this one is also quite elegant somehow. Probably the cider, adds elegance to any occasion.

You could make it even more elegant, by roasting the joint whole and then slicing and serving it with the sauce on the side, like my grandmother and mother, both formidable cooks and elegant ladies, would have done for a fine Sunday roast. But I felt a bit more edgy and modern, so I cut the roast in chunks. I may not be a crazy anarchist, and you will never find me living in a tent on Parliament Square with banderoles saying "Out with the old" or "One solution: Revolution", but at least I cut my joints the way I like.

Slow cooked reindeer in creamy cider sauce

I did feel a bit guilty chopping the beautiful topside roast.

Reindeer of course is impossible to come by in most parts of the world, but this recipe can be made with venison or other similar game meat. I don't know what that might be, kangaroo perhaps. Or even beef.

Reindeer is quite a unique taste, a lot stronger and more gamy than red deer or moose meat, but similarly dark and lean. It has a very elegant, strong taste that will work beautifully with just a simple salt and pepper seasoning, but it's nice to try something different. I love marinading meat anyway. It's one of my favourite things together with period drama and Christmas.

I did this recipe for husband and his boys the other weekend. I also did a Greek lamb stew in case the boys would be squeamish about eating reindeer. I think they have eaten reindeer at least in small doses before, but I wasn't sure if this would still be too much. I shouldn't have worried. The lamb was really nice as well, but the reindeer went down even better.

I think Finnish Lapland fingerling potatoes (Puikula PDO!!) or potato mash would be the best accompaniment to this dish. But I was a bit short on Lapland fingerling potatoes only available for the 42 minutes the Arctic summer lasts, and didn't feel like mash, so I made herby roast potatoes which were really nice.

Reindeer stew in creamy apple cider sauce

Reindeer in creamy cider sauce

800g reindeer topside roast


1 cup apple cider
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
3 cloves of garlic

For the stew:
1 yellow onion, chopped
Game stock (or beef stock)
Fresh chopped parsley
Black pepper
Splash of single cream
2 heaped tbsp cream cheese (or sour cream)

Cut the meet in one inch pieces, mix all the marinade ingredients together and add the meat and the marinade to a plastic bag making sure the meat is covered all over with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight turning the bag a few times.

Take the meat out of the marinade and pat dry letting it come to room temperature. Keep the marinade.

Preheat oven to 190C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large ovenproof pan or dutch oven. Add the reindeer pieces in batches and fry on medium to high heat until nicely browned. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

Add the onion and fry on low heat for few minutes. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Add the meat back into the pan and add the stock.

In a separate pan bring the marinade to boil, skim the foam from the top until you are left with a clear liquid. Sieve the liquid and add to the meat.

Cover and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 2 hours stirring every once in a while and adding water if necessary until the meat is soft. Add the cream and cream cheese, mix well. Cook for another few minutes and serve with your choice of healthy carbs and a fresh side salad.

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