Recipes by Mike Robinson: Muntjac Ragu with Fresh Tagliatelle
Not many people realise you can eat Muntjac. These little Chinese deer came over to the UK with the Duke of Bedford for his deer park at Woburn Abbey. They quickly spread and can now be found almost everywhere. The meat is dense and flavoursome. It can be treated like lamb in lots of ways as it is delicious both pink and slow cooked. We use it in this recipe as it holds its texture very well and makes a wonderful winter feast. Buy fresh dried Tagliatelle for this.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 Muntjac haunch, boned and diced
1 Onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced
4 Sticks of Celery, diced
2 Glasses of Red Wine
100ml Fresh Chicken Stock
2 Tins of Chopped Italian Tomatoes
10 Sprigs of Thyme
1 Tbsp of Redcurrant Jelly
1 Tbsp of Tomato Ketchup (we favour Tiptree)
1 Tsp of Tomato Paste
Salt & Pepper
The great thing about this recipe as it cooks overnight and the meat doesn’t need searing first, so it can be thrown together and left alone to make its magic. Gently sauté off the veg until soft then throw in all the rest of the ingredients. Give it a good stir, then put a greaseproof cartouche (circle lid) over the liquid and follow with a tight fitting lid. Put in a low oven 130c for 8 hours.
In morning, check the seasoning, give a good stir and it can be frozen or re-heated from this point when ready to serve. Mix well with the tagliatelle before serving (don’t just plonk it on top). Shave good quality parmesan over before serving and a drizzle of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.