Venison Pizza Medieval Arabic Dartmoor Style

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Post-Christmas holidays and the supplies are getting thin.  I fancied making an Ottolenghi Turkish pizza recipe but, due to our remote location and lack of holiday shopping opportunities, I had to change a few ingredients – no tomatoes, no beef mince, no pine nuts, no eggs for his particular dough. But yes, I always have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in the store cupboard and tender venison mince in the freezer as deer abound on Dartmoor.

This spiced meat pizza appealed to me as the recipe has echoes of medieval cookery AND is topped with crunchy salad vegetables, including the much under-rated radish Sounded interesting.

It was. The family pounced upon this one.  The spiced meat is made tangy with pomegranate molasses and the hot bite of finely sliced radish topped with tahini dressing (to which I added yogurt and minced garlic) made a delicious and unusual combination.  The pizzas were wolfed down with complaints that I should have made more, so I’ll be making this again and doubling the quantity.

Method

I have a bread machine which produces awful bread but makes serviceable speedy pizza dough which helps when I have these whims and a hungry family are baying for dinner.

Dough

500g white flour, plus extra to dust

½ tbsp salt

7g fast-action dried yeast

½ tbsp caster sugar

60ml sunflower oil

300ml lukewarm water

Use the bread machine on the dough setting which takes 1 ½ hours. Meanwhile make the topping.

Image 2250g venison mince (or minced beef)

1 medium onion, finely chopped (180g net)

1¼ tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp flaked red chilli

25g flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

1½ tbsp sumac

Put all of the topping ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands until well combined. Wash your hands.

Preheat the oven to 210°C

Divide the risen dough into 2 or 3 balls, depending on the size of pizza, and roll each into a thin disc, about 2mm thick. Brush each disc lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on floured baking trays. Cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

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Now make the salad topping

1/2-cucumber, cut into 1cm dice (190g)

2 small tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice (150g) OOPS RUN OUT

10 radishes, thinly sliced (75g)

½ red onion, thinly sliced (65g)

10g parsley, roughly chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper

To make the salad, mix together the vegetables and add the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Stir gently and set aside.

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To make the pizzas

Divide the filling between the pastries and spread it evenly so it covers the dough fully. Sprinkle over the pine nuts if you have them and place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked. You want to make sure the pastry is just baked, not over-baked; the topping can be slightly pink inside and the pastry golden when you look underneath. I have an Aga so I like to pop my pizzas on the hotplate for a few moments to get the base crisp as my old iron oven is rather temperamental in the crispness area.Image 7

Remove from the oven/hotplate, spoon the salad on top and finish with a sauce of

3 tbsp tahini paste

2 tbsp lemon juice

But I also added 4 tblspns Greek Yoghurt and minced fresh garlic to make a thicker sauce.

Finish with chopped fresh green chilli. Enjoy.

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