Elk, cranberry and caramelized onion pastries

These delicious little pastries make the perfect appetizer for casual or elegant entertaining. Serve them with a glass of bubbly or full-bodied white wine.

340g package puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
olive oil, for brushing, plus 1 tablespoon extra
3/4 lb (375g) elk tenderloin
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup port
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll one-half of pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Roll to about a 12 inch (30cm) square. Cut sixteen, 2 inch (5cm) rounds from pastry. Place on lightly greased baking sheet about 1/2 inch (1cm) apart. Lightly grease bottom of another baking sheet. Place baking sheet, greased side down, over pastry rounds. Repeat with remaining pastry half. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Brush a little oil over elk. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the tenderloin until cooked medium-rare. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into thin slices.

Heat remaining oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until softened. Add port, sugar and vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated.

Spread each cooked pastry round with cranberry sauce, top with onion mixture, slices of elk, a dollop of mascarpone and a sprinkle of chives. Makes 32.


Recipes featured on food show Simple, Fresh, Delicious with Lovoni Walker.


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