Crown Roast of Venison with Skirlie
This impressive dish is easy to make with a well-trimmed Rack of Venison. Make two for a spectacular dinner party dish for eight. Skirlie could almost be called Scottish couscous – deliciously simple toasted oatmeal with onion, lemon thyme and celery.
1 French Rack of Venison, 7-9 bones
sprigs of fresh thyme
4 tbsp. melted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. plain white flour
300ml good game or meat stock
For a really professional finish, scrape each bone clean of any Venison or gristle. Bend the rack into a circle, with the trimmed side of the ribs inside (bones curving outwards. With a sharp knife, nick through the sinew between each cutlet to help the rack bend into shape. Join the two ends together with the help of a couple wooden cocktail sticks.
Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F, gas mark 6. Melt the butter in a roasting tin, add the thyme sprigs and sit the Venison on top. Wrap up the end of the bones with kitchen foil to prevent them from burning and brush the roast with melted butter. Roast for 30 minutes MEDIUM RARE or 35 minutes RARE basting once. Lift out the crown and leave to rest while you make the gravy. Pour off all but a tablespoon of butter from the roasting taking care not to pour away any of the meat juices. Stir in the flour, scraping any sticky sediment from the bottom of pan. Add the stock and stir until boiling. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste, season and strain into a gravy boat. Remove the foil from the bones. Garnish with fresh thyme in the centre, surround with the Skirlie and serve the gravy separately.