Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 36: Rick meets Pip and Matt Smith, with their herd of 600 red deer, on a north Cornish farm that has been in Pip’s family for over three centuries. With some very fine organic venison, Rick returns to his kitchen in Padstow to make a magnificent venison wellington.
He spends an afternoon on Porthgwarra beach with the artist Hannah Woodman, whose work is inspired by the sea-worn landscape of west Cornwall – one of the oldest of the land masses that make up the British Isles. And over a pint with the Cornish comedian Jonny Cowling, he attempts to define the thing he loves most about the Cornish – their sense of humour. Rick Stein reveals the Cornwall that he knows and loves: a unique part of the British isles with a strong sense of identity and a history rooted in its Celtic past. With his famous natural inquisitiveness, Rick shares the road less travelled – championing the food, history, music, art and culture of the county many locals argue should be a country in its own right.
Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 36
Christopher Richard “Rick” Stein, CBE (born 4 January 1947) is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur and television presenter. Along with business partner (and first wife) Jill Stein he has run the Stein hotel and restaurant business in the UK. The business has a number of renowned restaurants, shops and hotels in Padstow along with other restaurants in Marlborough, Winchester and Barnes. He is also the head chef and a co-owner of “Rick Stein at Bannisters” at Mollymook and Port Stephens in Australia, with his second wife Sarah. He has written cookery books and presented television programmes.
After graduating, he converted a mobile disco in Padstow, which he had run as a student, into a quayside nightclub with his friend, Johnny. It became known for its freeze-dried curries. However, the nightclub lost its licence and was closed down by the police, mainly due to frequent brawls with local fishermen. The pair still had a licence for a restaurant in another part of the building, so they continued with that to avert bankruptcy.
Stein ran the kitchen using the experience he had gained as a commis chef. Eventually he converted it into a small harbour-side bistro, “The Seafood Restaurant”, with his first wife Jill in 1975. As of 2015, his business operates four restaurants, a bistro, a café, a seafood delicatessen, a pâtisserie shop, a gift shop and a cookery school. In 2007 threats against Stein’s businesses were made by Cornish nationalists. His impact on the economy of Padstow is such that it has been nicknamed “Padstein”.
A luxurious twist on a traditional wellington with venison, prosciutto and chestnut mushroom duxelle. This makes for a stand out centrepiece that definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.
- To prepare the venison, pat dry with kitchen towel, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a frying pan on hight heat and brown the meat all over. Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Reserve any venison juices to make the gravy later. Once cooled, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- To make the mushroom filling, melt the butter in a separate pan, then add the red onion and garlic and cook over a low heat for a few minutes to soften. Once softened add the chopped mushrooms and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until any excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a pâté-like mixture. Add the sherry and cook until it has evaporated. Set the mushroom mixture aside to cool.
- On a sheet of baking parchment a little larger than the size of an A4 sheet, arrange the slices of prosciutto so that they are slightly overlapping in a single layer. Spread the cooled mushroom mixture in an even layer over the top of the prosciutto. Place the venison loin on top of the mushrooms at the bottom of the A4. Using the parchment, roll the mushrooms and prosciutto around the loin. Wrap tightly with the parchment paper and refrigerate while you roll the pastry.
- On a lightly dusted worksurface, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle a little larger than a sheet of A4 paper (big enough to fully encase the venison with a 1cm/½in overlap).
- Remove the loin from the fridge and discard the paper. Place the loin in the middle of the pastry and fold over, tucking the seam underneath the meat, ensuring no air is trapped. Pinch in the ends to form a sealed parcel. Transfer to a lined baking tray and brush with the beaten egg. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the gravy.
- To make the gravy, melt the butter in the pan you used to brown the meat. Add the onions and cook over a medium-low heat to soften. Add the flour and stir until it becomes a smooth paste. Allow the roux to cook for a minute then slowly add the red wine, stirring to keep the mixture smooth. Bring to the boil then stir in the beef stock, reserved venison juices and bring back to the boil. Cook to reduce the liquid until you reach a glossy, rich gravy, then stir in the redcurrant jelly and season with salt and pepper. For an extra smooth finish, pass through a sieve and keep warm.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7 and cook the Wellington for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with the gravy.