Food and drink

Improvised venison and hazelnut spaghetti

A while ago we were given a present of some venison lorne sausage. Normally I’d try to avoid the square sausage as an evil weegie creation that most people should avoid at all costs. Like Rangers fans. But as this was a gift I thought I’d give it a go and a bit of improvisation was in order.

I bought some hazelnuts and had in my head a vague idea of some spaghetti in a creamy sauce with the venison and nuts. It sounded like it could work. My main worry was that every time I’ve tried to find recipes for hazelnuts before all I found were desserts and stuffings. Not many people seem to use them as the main part of the dish so I wasn’t sure how it would work.

Anyway I toasted the nuts and rubbed them in a tea towel to remove the skin then fried off the venison. Some white wine and cream made the sauce then I added the nuts back into the pan to heat before finishing with the spaghetti. Nice and simple as if you start getting too complicated when you’re making things up then that’s when things go wrong.

The toasted hazelnuts had a slightly creamy, nutty taste which worked really well with the venison and the sauce. I was really surprised how good it was. The sausage was lovely. Nice strong flavour from the venison and nowhere near as fatty as normal lorne would be. In fact I had to add more oil into the pan at one point as there wasn’t enough fat coming from the sausage.

If you’re looking for something a bit different and quick then you should definitely give this a try. It’d work well with any pasta or as a salad. Or you could use a large piece of venison and add chopped hazelnuts into the sauce.

Serves 2

2 slices of venison lorne, cubed
100g hazelnuts
Single cream
White wine

Heat the oven to 200C and toast the hazelnuts in it for about 10 minutes.
Take them out and place them in a tea towel while still warm then rub them until the skin falls off.
Fry off the cubes of venison lorne in a large pan with some olive oil.
Cook the spaghetti in a pot of boiling, salted water.
Stick the hazelnuts in with the venison and deglaze with a glass of the white wine.
Add the thyme, reduce the wine by half and then add some cream to thicken.
Splash a little of the water from the spaghetti into the pan with the venison then drain the spaghetti and stir it in with the meat.
Season and serve immediately.

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