5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs rosemary
1 venison neck, on the bone
2 leeks, dark green tops removed and remainder washed and sliced
300g portobello mushrooms, sliced
400g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
200g oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp porcini powder or, if you can get them, 4 fresh porcini, sliced
1/2 bottle red wine
500 ml veal stock (or dark chicken or venison stock)
5 stalks parsley, bruised
1 splash sherry vinegar, to taste
1 batch pasta (see page 193)
1 knob of unsalted butter
l wedge of good Parmesan
1 tbsp capers
1/2 shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
10 Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
Neck meat is fiddly because of the awkward bone, but it’s that very bone which imparts such beautiful flavour to the meat. It’s ideal for braising, as it’s always tender and juicy. For extra richness, add a pork or boar hock to this braise – the gelatin from the cartilage breaks down and adds a lovely stickiness to the sauce. — Dariush
Season the venison neck with salt and pepper and marinate it with 2 cloves garlic and a sprig of rosemary for 48 hours ahead of cooking, cover and refrigerate.
For the venison
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat a little cooking fat in a heavy-based pan. Add the leeks, and cook until softened. Add all of the mushrooms and the porcini powder. When the vegetables have softened, add the wine and stock. Transfer to a large roasting tray, then add the remaining 5 cloves garlic and sprig of rosemary. Bruise the parsley stalks with the back of a knife and add to the roasting tray.
Lay the neck on the vegetables and cover it with baking paper and tin foil. Cook in the oven for 6 hours.
Remove the braise from the oven and discard the parsley stalks and the rosemary sprig. Leave the neck to cool in the braising liquid. Once the meat is cool enough to handle, carefully remove it from the bone – look out for small bone fragments.
Transfer the vegetables and sauce to a large pan, then add the meat. Season with salt, plenty of black pepper and sherry vinegar, if the sauce needs extra acidity.
In salted boiling water, cook the fresh pasta until it’s almost al dente. Add the pasta to the venison neck sauce, and toss with a knob of butter and a generous grating of Parmesan cheese. Keep tossing for a minute to thicken the sauce, then add the capers, shallot, flat-leaf parsley and olives.
Serve with extra grated Parmesan. You'll probably have leftover sauce – it'll keep for 5 days in the fridge.