Ginger, Fennel and Golden Zucchini Couscous with Venison and Chorizo Sausages

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Published on: February 1, 2013
 

I have never been a big fan of couscous and nor is my wife, every dish we’ve tried has been too bland.  That was until I decided to give it another go at my local restaurant – The Bridge Brassiere.  I had their Ginger & Fennel Couscous with Venison sausages for lunch.  It was wonderful, and that’s not the usual word I use to describe dishes with couscous!  The ginger and fennel gave the couscous some real flavour and fragrance, the venison sausages provided a rich and robust partner and the raisins (which I normally object to anything other than desserts) added some sweetness to balance the whole dish out.  It was a really well thought out plate of food.  It’s what I’ve come to expect from the Chef’s over at The Bridge!  They come up with some pretty creative ideas, Jerusalem artichoke bellini pancakes being my pick of the bunch.  So if you are ever in Chippenham, I highly recommend you pay The Bridge a visit.  They also have a really nice deli next door (sadly they are moving to bigger premises and no new deli is planned) that I use for some ingredients.

To celebrate my new-found love of couscous I decided to come up with my own dish.  OK, it’s heavily inspired by what I had at the restaurant but that’s because it was so damned good!  That and it was also my first time cooking with couscous, so I decided not to mess too much with a proven recipe.  I didn’t get the recipe from the restaurant, beyond the main ingredients I’m just going with what I felt was right for the dish.

I’m keeping the ginger and fennel combination, aromatic and full of flavours that compliment each other – perfect.  I’m also keeping the Venison sausages as they add a real richness to the dish that would be hard to replace.  I’m taking out the raisins though, they were good in the original but I’m sticking to my “no cooking with raisins” rule.  Instead I found some golden courgettes (zucchini) as they were in season at the time.  You could replace them with some sweet tomatoes, or maybe beetroot would be an interesting experiment?  I toyed with the idea of adding garlic to the couscous but in the end I went with Chorizo, firstly to give the dish some added flavour and secondly to add some variation to the gamey venison which I find has a tendency to tire out my taste buds.  I also added an orange bell pepper for some additional sweetness, with hindsight I think I should have used a red one as the whole dish looks a little yellow!  I think I could squeeze in a herb somewhere but I left it out this time.  Perhaps a touch of coriander next time?  Add a spice or two and the dish is complete.

 

I had a photo for this article but sadly its managed to do a runner… I’ve made the dish again, although with slightly different ingredients but it’s better than nothing!

GnY_CousCousGF

 

Ingredients (Serves 2):

4 Venison Sausages

2 Chorizo Sausages

2 Golden Zucchinis

1 Bulb Fennel

200 g Couscous

400 ml Chicken Stock

2 Shallots

1 Red / Orange Bell Pepper

1 medium root Ginger

 

Method:

1.  Set a grill pan or heavy frying pan to a high heat, then start frying the Venison sausages.

2.  Start boiling the chicken stock in a saucepan.

3.  Prep the Fennel, Pepper, Shallots and Ginger and chop into a small dice.

4.  Place a saute pan or frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots, ginger and fennel until they become fragrant.

5.  While the vegetables are cooking, add the Chorizo sausages to the grill pan with the venison and continue to cook, turning occasionally

6.  Put the dry couscous in a bowl and then pour over the boiling chicken stock, give it a quick stir and then cover and allow to sit for about 8-10mins.

7.  Stir the couscous to ensure the stock has been completely absorbed and the couscous expands and has become fluffy.

7.  Mix the couscous into the pan of vegetables and then take off the heat.

8.  Plate the couscous and then place two venison sausages and one chorizo sausage on each plate and serve immediately.

 

Tips:

– The great thing about couscous (aside from the short cooking times) is that it takes on whatever flavours you put into it.  So unless you want a very plain couscous, don’t use simple boiling water, use a stock or broth of some kind to really give it some flavour.

 



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