Venison Ragu with hand made Tagliatelle

I am no amazing chef but when given the time I want to put in the effort. When everyone is grabbing from the backstops I am looking for Neck, shoulder and shank. These cuts will give you an amazing meal. And at the end of the day it is a lot of work to successfully hunt a deer and we want to use every part possible. 

This heart warming recipe is sure to impress. 

  • 1kg Bone in venison shank or shoulder or neck (neck may require more time to break down.)

  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 200g pancetta, chopped

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs,

  • 1 rosemary sprig you can’t really over do it I use more. 

  • 3 tbsp tomato purée

  • 1 can or diced tomatoes

  • 500ml red wine

  • 500ml whole milk

  • 500g fresh egg tagliatelle (make it yourself its worth it)

  • 50g unsalted butter

  • Freshly grated parmesan to serve

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C  Season the venison well with salt and pepper, put in a small-medium roasting tin and drizzle with a good drizzle of olive oil. Roast for about 1 hour until well browned outside and more or less cooked (it doesn’t matter if it’s well done or rare). Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin, reserving the roasting juices.

  2. Heat a heavy casserole, French pan or frying pan if using a slow cooker with a lid over a medium heat and add the pancetta, along with the remaining oil. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the pancetta starts to brown and crisp and the fat is released, then mix in the chopped vegetables, garlic, herbs, mixed spice and tomato purée. Turn the heat too low and cook until tender but without colour.

  3. Meanwhile, dice the roast venison into roughly. Add the meat to the tender vegetables in the pan and mix together put the bone back in. Raise the heat to high and fry for 10 minutes until some of the meat starts to brown at the edges. Add the roasting juices, wine and milk. It may look curdled but it’ll come back together during cooking.

  4. Bring to a simmer, cover with the lid slightly ajar, then cook gently for around 3 hours, stirring every so often. You can do this on the hob over a low heat or in the oven at 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3. It’s ready when the oil collects on the surface, the meat is very tender and the gravy has thickened. You may need to add a splash of water during cooking if it dries out too much or raise the heat towards the end if it looks a little wet. At the end of cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste.

  5. If you are up the the challenge make the pasta by hand there are countless youtube videos on how to do it it is honestly easy and by far makes a silky delicious pasta that is well worth the time (10mn at most)

  6. Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook until it’s still quite firm to the bite (leave it even more al dente than you like, as it will continue to cook in the sauce). Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water, then add the pasta to the ragù, along with the butter. Add just enough of the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce slightly. Put the whole lot on a warmed serving platter or put in individual bowls, then top with lots of parmesan to serve.