Cooking Reindeer - Reindeer Fillet With Savoy Cabbage & Potato Cake

Reindeer FilletIn this country we tend to think it rather unsporting to eat the earthly representatives of Santa's crew, but in Scandinavia it's farmed and tucked into with relish. It's tasty, cooks quickly, holds a wine sauce to perfection and deserves your best reds to accompany it.

The most straight forward approach to reindeer is to pretend it's prime fillet of venison or beef and either fry it as steaks or medallions or roast it quickly in one piece. An optional overnight bath in a combination of wine, juniper berries and winter herbs adds a luxurious touch to the dark leanness of the meat and forms the basis of a good red wine sauce.

Alternatively, the authentic Swedish recipe below dispenses with the marinade and involves a good, hot searing followed by ten minutes in a lowish oven and results in rare, juicy meat which can be adapted to all kinds of sauces and garnishes. As it stands it's a sophisticated, restaurant-quality dish with a big wow-factor, but it can easily be simplified for a quieter occasion.

You might, for instance, use red wine instead of port, sprouts instead of cabbage and instead of the potato cake, roasties or indulgent Janssons Temptation (see Scandi Noir, the November Food For Thought piece). And why not look to the nearer North for a starter of Yorkshire pudding, suffused with some of the sauce?

Note: If Rudolf really is out of bounds, rare-breed farmer and ace winemaker David Hohnen of Margaret River winery McHenry Hohnen makes the excellent suggestion that Scottish-farmed roe or red deer is an excellent alternative, grazing, as he says on much the same 'sub Arctic fodder' that makes reindeer meat taste so wild and aromatic. Either way, you'll find his Rocky Road Zinfandel a terrific match.

Janet Wynne Evans

REINDEER FILLET WITH SAVOY CABBAGE AND POTATO CAKE

serves 4

The source of this recipe is Det Svenska Matåret (The Swedish Food Year),compiled by Sweden's National Chef Team, in collaboration with Tore Wretman, a leading authority on Swedish cuisine. Swedish speakers can order a copy online here.

Ingredients

  • 800g outer fillet of reindeer trimmed of any sinew or fat (reserve the trimmings)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 10 button mushrooms - about 100g
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 25g cubed carrot
  • 25g cubed celeriac
  • 25g chopped onion
  • 25g chopped leek
  • 3 tbsp port
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 500 ml good beef stock
  • 1 sprig thyme or a pinch dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp arrowroot (you may not need it)

Vegetables

  • 1 small Savoy cabbage
  • 2 large carrots - about 200g
  • 1 daikon/large white radish - about

For the potato cake

  • 400g potatoes
  • 3 tbsp clarified butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 200ml gruyere cheese

Method

The Sauce

  • Chop the mushrooms roughly and the garlic finely.
  • Brown both in the oil with the reserved sinew and fat from the reindeer, celeriac, carrot, onion and leek.
  • Add the port and reduce until nearly completely dry.
  • Stir in the tomato puree and the stock. Let it boil and skim off the top
  • Add the herbs and season.
  • Simmer gently until reduced to about 300ml.
  • Strain, and if it feels too thin, thicken with the arrowroot, dissolved in a little water. Season again, to taste.

The Potato Cake

  • Heat the oven to 175°C/350°F/Gas 4
  • Peel the potatoes and cut into 1mm slices. Turn and coat them in the clarified butter and season them. Butter a round ovenproof dish and lay the potato slices in the dish overlapping each other. Cover each layer with some of the cheese. Finish with a layer of cheese. Bake for 50 minutes.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2
  • Loosen the cake by running a palette knife around the circumference and turn it out by inverting a serving plate over the dish and flipping the whole thing upside-down. Cut into slices and keep warm.

The Vegetables

  • Detach 12 nice looking savoy leaves and blanch them. Cool immediately in iced water to stop the cooking and fix the colour.
  • Peel the carrots and daikon and cut into long thin strips, about 1cm wide, to resemble pasta ribbons. Boil in lightly salted water until soft, and drain.

The Meat

  • Heat the butter in an ovenproof pan, and brown the fillet really well on all sides. Season well with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the reindeer fillet to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Cover it with foil and let it rest.
  • In a shallow pan, melt the butter and cook the prepared savoy cabbage, then the carrot and daikon ribbons until just tender-crisp.
  • Let the reindeer rest a few minutes before carving on the diagonal into thick medallions.
  • Place the reindeer on the savoy cabbage and pour over the sauce. Add a slice of potato cake to each plate and garnish with the vegetable ribbons.

Recipe to go with Red Nose Day – Food for Thought: SocietyNews December 2013

Members' Comments (1)

"A very good recipe. The meat was extremely tender.
For the sauce, I used half red wine and half stock and the result was fantastic.
Potato cakes were very rich and went well with the meat.
If you can find reindeer meet this is well worth the effort. We bought ours frozen and vacuum packed on a short trip to Oslo.

Have not found a UK supplier for reindeer filet so far."

Mr David Barr (29-Sep-2016)

Society Promise
Members before profit
Awards

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.

Close

4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies:

4.4.4.1. Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended.

4.4.4.2. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit.

4.4.4.3. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic.

4.4.4.4. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.