Q: There is an amazing venison fillet in your freezer. It’s Sunday, all the shops are closed, and there is nothing at home except two lemons and a bottle of gin. What do you do?
A: make venison ‘Gin Tonic’ style.
NB. It looks a bit dry in the picture, don’t be put off, that’s because I packed it for an office lunch and didn’t want the sauce to smell all boozy and get fired for alcoholism.
1) Thaw the fillet. Even if that means waiting a whole day. Do not skip this.
2) Pour a glug of oil in a casserole large enough to fit the fillet, and swirl it around.
3) Pestle a handful juniper berries and a tiny bit allspice and add enough gin to cover the crushed berries well.
4) Zest 1 organic lemon, add to the boozy mortar, and cut two lemons into quarters (you really must use organic ones for this, as you’re going to eat them whole). Substitute 1 lemon for a Meyer lemon, if you like.
5) Add a tsp dried thyme, a lot of black pepper, and pour the marinade into the casserole, swishing it around.
6) Salt the thawed fillet well on all sides, put into the casserole, really have it wallop in the marinade (I love the word ‘wallop’) and press down firmly to get some juniper berries to stick.
7) Put into the oven, lid on, and roast depending on fillet size (I wanted mine well done, 20 mins).