Thursday, 8 December 2016

Father Christmas. A Trippy Tale...

Having cooked for the performers at Glastonbury Festival for many years, I thought I'd seen it all backstage, it seems I am wrong, the baddest boy of them all is.... Father Christmas.

Camera fades to long ago way back when the Koryak shaman (nomadic reindeer herders) from Russia's Far East collected Amanita Muscaria or Fly Agaric, the red and white spotted toxic and hallucinogenic mushrooms under the pine trees and dried them out for a spot of interesting Winter Solstice leisure activity. Once dried, they would feed the fly agaric to the reindeer, immune to the poisonous side effects who pee'd out the residue which would be drunk by the shaman transporting them into a trance like state. The reindeer joined in too by eating the snow where the tripping shaman had peed. Everyone was flying! Where were the presents? 
Naturally the 'Father Christmas' shamans were drawn to wearing red and white outfits while out on their pursuit of fly agaric, arriving home (arctic yurts) they climbed through the chimney opening in the roof, the front door being snowed in. Once down in the hearth (with the soles of their reindeer boots blackened with smoke) they would open their sack of reindeer urine and settle in for a festive trip with their neighbours. 


A Wild Food Christmas Recipe 

Ingredients for 4 people;
800g diced venison
1 tbsp plain flour
1 large onion
3 sticks celery
1/4 tsp all spice
1 bay leaf
2 tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
Zest of 1 orange plus juice
Large glass of red wine
1/2 glass of port
Salt & ground black pepper
Small pinch of chilli flakes

Fry onions and celery.
Toss diced venison in flour.  
Add the venison to the pan and fry with onion and celery (if the pan is large enough). If the pan is too small then do it separately. 
Add salt & pepper, all spice, chilli and thyme.
Add wine, port, orange zest and juice (you may need a little stock to top it up). 
Place in oven at 180 degrees for at least an hour, depending on how tender the venison is, it might take longer. 
Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.