Ridiculous Venison Lasagne
It's not very traditional. Occasionally, however, I deviate wildly from trying to perfect classics, in search of oh-no-you-didn't combinations. Hence, this lasagne. It starts with a layer of buttery kumara mash, setting up a sweet base for the dish. It's followed by a layer lasagne, venison ragu, fried chickpeas tossed in white wine vinegar, basil and olive oil. From there, it rides to the top with layer after layer of venison and silky lasagne. Roasted in the oven and served with parmesan, a douse of white wine vinegar and a nominal tuft of green watercress. Recipe below.
500g Fresh Pasta Sheets
700g Venison Mince
200g Brined Chickpeas, strained
2 Large Orange Kumara, peeled and diced.
800g Diced Tomatoes
3 Teaspoons of Dried Oregano
2 Teaspoons of Marjoram
1 stalk of Fresh Rosemary
A handful fresh basil, rougly chopped
A handful of Fresh Oregano
250ml Lamb stock
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
2 Carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 Bulb of Garlic, peeled and minced
4 Onions, peeled and finely sliced
White Wine Vinegar
Watercress or Rocket, something peppery
The great thing about this recipe is you can take your time, if you want. There is no pressure because it all gets baked together.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
In a pot, cover the kumara with water and bring to a boil. Boil until soft. Strain and mash with butter and a hit of salt. Set aside.
In a deep skillet, in olive oil, brown onions, garlic, carrot, oregano, marjoram and rosemary stalk. Once they're caramelized, add the venison mince. Integrate that well until the the venison has browned. Add the lamb stock, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and two tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Cook until the sauce is thick. Remove the rosemary stick. Salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
In another frying pan in a dash of oil, fry the chickpeas. Toss them around on a high heat for five minutes. Splash in some white wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Shimmy the chickpeas through the vinegar. Cook until the vinegar has almost evaporated, then throw in the basil. Take it off the heat.
Now all your elements are ready for assembly. The base layer is kumara, then a pasta layer. Then the meat ragu. On top of that, fried chickpeas. Another pasta layer, followed by repeating layers of ragu and pasta (around 3 more layers, depending on the size of your dish. Mine was about 20cm by 30cm). On the penultimate layer, sprinkle with the fresh oregano. Try to end with the meat on top.
Put it in the oven for 35 minutes.
Serve with watercress, a sprinkling of vinegar and a blizzard of parmesan.