Cavolo nero is a bit middle class trendy I know, but that withstanding it’s wonderful stuff. Unlike most kale which possesses a thugish look, as if it’s just waiting to give you a mouthful of stringy bitterness, this Italian import is extremely elegant and inviting. It doesn’t last well into the winter so as soon as the plants reach a decent size I start harvesting the beautiful slender foliage from about the crown. The young leaves stand alone very well just steamed or stir fried, but I prefer to incorporate them into hearty soups or summer casseroles.
Partly for my benefit so I don’t forget them, as of today I shall record any notable recipes I devise. Seasonal eating like the old ‘black cabbage’ has become trendy, but when you grow your own it’s a lifestyle necessity rather than a choice, something you’ll see reflected in the food I cook. The venison I used came from the main road at the end of our lane after a tip off on the ‘road kill hot-line’. The looks I received from the suited business folk heading to work were priceless as I hauled the yearling fallow buck across the road, holding up about 20 cars in each direction. The dust cart had knocked it down 20minutes before and it was all I could do to grapple it’s dead weight into the boot. Child’s play that of course, compared to the huge fallow buck Em and I dragged across three lanes of motorway traffic a few years back – that was really exciting!
Dinner – Venison with Cavolo nero and Turnips
This dish worked really well, the french sausages providing a richness to the dish without detracting from the feeling that it something a bit different and continental.
- 1 large onion
- 1 tbs vegetable oil or lard
- 1 lb cubed venison
- 4 Toulouse sausages (or similar course all meat sausage) cut into 2 inch lengths
- 1 pint beef or game stock
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 large turnips cubed
- bunch of cavolo nero shredded
- bouquet garni of bay, parsley, thyme and rosemary
- Fry onions until translucent, add venison and continue frying until sealed.
- Add all other ingredients adding more water if necessary to cover meat and vegetables.
- Simmer over a low heat for 2-3 hours or until the venison is tender.
- Remove herbs and thichen with corn flour if desired.