Pic by Johann Botha

Brandy is enjoyed in many forms – on its own in a brandy balloon, with a single ice-cube, with a mixer such as ginger ale or coke or in a cocktail with myriad ingredients. 

Chefs are increasingly using this versatile spirit in cooking, but think further than just your grandmother’s Christmas cake. 

Brandy, with its high alcohol content and strength of flavor, pairs well with creamy sauces, dishes featuring fruit such as apricot, banana or citrus, and spices such as pepper, paprika or chili. It also marries well with nuts.

Serves 6

Ingredients 

1.2kg Venison loin

180 g blanched fine green beans

6 red onion tarte tatin

300 ml sauce poivrade 

Method

Season the venison loin with salt and pepper and grill to the required degree of doneness. Remove from the grill and leave to rest for five minutes before serving. 

Warm the blanched beans and plate. Slice the venison loin and arrange the slices on top of the beans. Pour the sauce poivrade over the venison. 

Serve alongside an onion tart. 

Red onion tarte tatin

Ingredients 

3 red onions

2 cloves garlic

1 sprig rosemary

50g butter

20g sugar

20ml balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

6 puff pastry disc (aprox 5cm in diameter)

Method

Peel the red onions and roast them whole with the garlic and rosemary in a hot oven until soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 

Cut the onions into quarters. Heat a muffin pan on the stove top. Add a small amount of the butter, sugar and vinegar to each well. 

Arrange the onions in the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Place the puff disc on top of the onions and tuck in the sides. 

Bake the tatin in a hot oven (220°C) for about 20 min or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown. 

Remove from the oven and turn out onto a plate.

Sauce poivrade

Ingredients

2 kg venison bones

1 onion

4 carrots

3 sticks celery

2 leeks

1 bulb garlic

10 g tomato paste

500 ml red wine

10 g rosemary

2 tblsp soft brown sugar

50 ml balsamic vinegar

60 g pancetta, diced

4 tblsps green peppercorns

100 ml Richelieu 10 brandy

Method

Roast the bones in the oven until dark brown. 

Put into a stockpot. Roughly chop all the vegetables and herbs, add to the bones and cook until the vegetables begin to colour. 

Add the tomato paste and fry for five minutes. Deglaze with the red wine. Cover with 5L of water and rest of the red wine.

Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Skim all the fat and impurities off the stock. Cook for four hours, skimming occasionally. 

Strain the stock and reduce down to 1L. Continue skimming.

In a separate saucepan fry the pancetta until golden brown and crisp. 

Add the green peppercorns. Add the Richelieu 10 and flambé.  

Add the brown sugar and let everything caramelise. 

Deglaze with the vinegar and then add the stock and reduce to the desired consistency and taste.

Recipe courtesy of Richelieu