The L&W boys can chop, mash, sauté and sear………

It turns out that the L&W boys are pretty nifty in the kitchen and not just with a dishcloth. They can chop, mash, sauté and sear like pros and are as adept with a pasta machine as the rest of us are with a corkscrew.

These culinary skills came to light during the first of our visits to The Bistro on the Quay where chef, Anthony Brooks had invited us for a mini masterclass with regards to all things venison leaving it to us to select two wines that we felt would show our culinary efforts at their very best.

Barely a minute after we’d crossed the restaurant threshold and the lads were kitted out with aprons and knives (a little scary for the observers amongst us) the work on the Venison Ragù had begun. Happily Anthony was in charge of carving the meat from the shin (a cut he likes because of the rich flavour that this well-muscled part of the deer delivers).

The meat was then finely diced at the same time as an equal measure of dried cured bacon before being browned in olive oil. The team diced the veg for the ragù; shallots, mushrooms, celery, leeks and carrots which were lightly sautéed and softened before all being brought together with red wine, chicken stock and the browned venison and bacon. Then it was time to savour the smell as the ragù was left to simmer for approximately 90 minutes.

Meanwhile the troops got busy on the pasta – 00 flour, eggs, salt and a dish of top-quality truffle oil – bound together by hand and then kneaded until it was ready for the pasta machine. It has to be said that Ludo has something of a knack for the pasta making business. It had great texture and a lovely colour. Well done him.

From the same haunch of venison Anthony had cut a rather lovely looking haunch that was to be roasted and served with mushrooms and a potato and celeriac mash.We feared a little for Micah’s fingers as he proceeded to demonstrate some fairly dare devil dicing of the celeriac but thankfully only the vegetable got chopped and in to the pan it went with a similar volume of tatties to boil for the mash.

Chestnut and Shiitake mushrooms were cleaned and quartered whilst the haunch was seasoned and seared before being popped in the oven to roast. The mushrooms were cooked in the juices left over from the searing of the meat and set aside as the final elements of the dish came together.

The potatoes and celeriac were heartily mashed with olive oil and a jus made from the pan juices with thyme and redcurrant jelly. The meat nicely rested was then placed atop the velvety mash, the mushrooms (and some purple sprouting broccoli) placed alongside with the jus bringing it all together. It was delicious.

Full-Favoured wines were the order of the day for both dishes. The 2006 Chateau Guillot Pomerol was a triumph alongside the haunch; matching the earthy and gamey flavours of the dish every step of the way. Alongside the ragù we served La Gerla Birba 2011 that was outstanding with the richness of the dish with its generous palate and hallmark Italian crunch to keep all the flavours bright and fresh.

It was show-stopping food led by talented and charming chef Anthony Brooks, ably (for the most part) assisted by Ludo, Micah and Will and the wines proved that there’s no better compliment to great cooking than to serve it with a delicious wine.

Roasted Haunch of Venison with Mushrooms and Celeriac & Potato Mash


  • Venison Haunch
  • Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1/2 large celeriac
  • Handful of Chestnut mushrooms
  • Handful of Shiitake mushrooms

Venison Ragù 


  • Vension Shin
  • Dried Cured Bacon
  • 100g shallots
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 50g celery
  • 50g leeks
  • 50g carrots
  • 175ml red wines
  • 350ml chicken stock



  • 200g 00 Flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt

Published on 23/11/2015 / By Sarah McCleery