Nut crumbed venison racks with hasselback kumara and hommus
Impress your guests with this deliciously decadent midwinter feast. We coat our New Zealand farmed venison racks in a pistachio and pine nut crumb and serve it on a bed of creamy hommus. Hasselback kumara look and taste divine and are surprisingly easy to prepare.
For the kumara hasselback: place a kumara on a large metal spoon (to stop slicing all the way through). Using a small sharp knife, make several slices, leaving ½ cm at the bottom unsliced. Repeat with remaining kumara. Place hasselback kumara in an oven dish, drizzle generously with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 50 minutes, until soft and slightly caramelized. Meanwhile, prepare the venison.
For the venison: Trim racks to fit your largest frying pan (alternatively, sear on the barbecue). Pat racks dry with a paper towel, drizzle with oil, then generously season with salt and black pepper. Add oil to a large frying pan over high heat and sear venison racks until brown all over, about 2-3 minutes each aside. Remove from heat, place in a deep oiled oven tray, and let cool. Add pistachios, pine nuts, garlic and a teaspoon of salt and pepper to a blender and pulse until combined. Brush venison racks with mustard then cover with pistachio and pine nut crumb. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes. To check if venison is cooked to medium rare, insert a metal skewer into the centre of the meat and hold for 5 seconds – it should come out warm. (Or insert a meat thermometer: for medium-rare it should be 57°C.) If not, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove venison from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes.
To serve: Serve venison with hasselback kumara, hommus and a scattering of pistachio kernels.
Fresh tip: Make sure you ask your butcher for clean racks. If there is still meat on the bones, make sure you' French' them.