Top chef Tim Maddams shows how to cook delicious butternut squashes stuffed with venison, in a cream and mushroom sauce, while Country Food Trust chief executive Tim Woodward gets in the way – and explains the work of the charity, feeding the nation with game meat.
2 butternut squashes
1 large onion, finely sliced
¼pt/100ml-200ml of milk and cream (or you can use stock)
1 splosh (2 metric fingers) of good brandy
5 handfuls of mushrooms (any edible type)
1lb/500g minced venison
2 tbsp olive oil
Two cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp rosemary, sage and/or thyme, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp mustard
1 handful hazelnuts, rough-cut (other nuts are good, too)
1 handful of fresh breadcrumbs
1 tsp parsley, chopped
Sprinkle olive oil on the whole butternut squashes, put them into your best-looking roasting dish (there’s a reason for that) and cook in the oven at 150 degrees C for 20-30 minutes.
Set a deep frying pan to heat on the hob. Fry the onion, garlic in olive oil and butter, add the mince.
As the meat browns, add the mushrooms, rosemary and thyme. Season well.
Add the flour, to hold the mixture together.
Pour in the brandy.
Once that is up to heat, pour in milk and cream and stir in the mustard.
Then leave to simmer.
If you time it correctly, you should be able to take your butternut squashes out of the oven, carefully cut off their tops, and spoon out the seeds on the inside. Replace the seeds with the venison mixture,
Make a mixture of the nuts, olive oil, parsley and breadcrumbs.
Spoon the nut mixture on to the top of the venison. Put the tops back on the butternut squashes.
Roast the butternut squashes for another 10mins at 180 degrees C.
Serve the finishes venison squashes on the pan you used to roast them (they will disintegrate if you try to move them on to another plate)
For more about the Country Food Trust, go to TheCountryFoodTrust.org – and check out its fundraising ideas
Tim Maddams’ website is TimMaddams.com
Thanks to Loyton Lodge for its excellent kitchen facilities Loyton.com and Isobel Barnes for looking after us
Food styling by Helen Upshall HelenUpshall.co.uk
Thanks to Karen Everett at the Country Food Trust for putting the project together