Roasted loin of venison.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

– Venison loin – 150g

– Celeriac – ¼

– Carrot – one

– Cabbage – ¼

– Cream – 200ml

– Garlic – one clove

– Salt & pepper – one pinch

– Juniper berries – a few

– Red wine sauce

FOR THE SAUCE

– Red wine – 125ml

– Port – 50ml

– Chicken/game stock – 200ml

HOW TO COOK IT

Use a heavy-bottomed, metal skillet with just enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Crush the juniper berries and the garlic clove and put them in the pan, put in the venison and seal it on all sides before transferring to a pre-heated oven at 180°C (350°F)/gas 4.

Check after just four minutes and turn before roasting for another four minutes.

The entire roasting process will depend on the size of the joint, but should only take between 10 and 15 minutes for medium-rare, longer if you prefer the venison well done.

(To stop the meat sticking to the pan you can roast it on a bed of thick, raw potato slices.)

Test the venison by touch ? obviously when you?ve taken it out of the oven – a rare joint will still be spongy and it will become firmer as it cooks through.

Resting the meat in a warm oven will turn a rare joint to a medium-rare.

Grate the carrots, celeriac and cabbage and place in a pan with the cream.

Bring to the boil until they?re slightly crunchy and finally season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Serve the dish with the red wine sauce made with the pan juices.

TO MAKE THE RED WINE SAUCE

This can also be made in advance. I use a reduction of red wine and port finished with chicken or game stock Mix and heat one part port, two parts red wine in a saucepan, reduce by half, then add double that amount of stock.

Reduce again so that the sauce is just thick enough to coat the venison.

Loin of venison

1: Hang the carcass head down if possible as this is generally the easiest way to cut it up.

Loin of venison

2: Run your hands up the hind legs until you find the rump bones.

Loin of venison

3: Take a boning knife and make a horizontal cut under the rump bone.

Loin of venison

4: Working from the head, count five bones back upwards.

Loin of venison

5: The area between the fifth bone and the rump bone is where you’ll find the prime cuts of loin meat.

Loin of venison

6: Finally take out the two loins – they’ll come away quite easily from the ribs – then cut the loin to suitably sized fillets.

Roast loin of venison dishABOUT THE CHEF

When he’s not out shooting, Mark is the Head Chef at The Finch’s Arms in Hambleton – a traditional 17th century English country inn, with beamed ceilings, cask ales and a small bustling bar with magnificent views overlooking Rutland Water.

Formerly the proprietor of the Tollemache Arms in Buckminster, Leicestershire, Mark has also been chef at the Restaurant Pierre Orsi, Lyons and Raymond Blanc’s le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxford.

www.finchsarms.co.uk