Venison is low in fat, high in protein, and full of vitamins and iron. It's also delicious. Here's a straightforward recipe which serves four

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Recipe for venison loin steaks served with cabbage & bacon

by Byron Hayter, Ashdown Park Hotel

Ingredients:

Venison loin steaks

  • 4 venison steaks, each weighing 120g
  • 100ml rapeseed oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Handful of blackberries to serve

Venison gravy

  • 1kg venison bones
  • 8 shallots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 190ml red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50g unsalted butter

Carrot purée

  • 1kg carrot, peeled and cored
  • 500ml milk
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • pepper

Cabbage

  • 1 Savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 150g smoked bacon
  • salt
  • pepper

Venison Gravy

  • To make the venison gravy, pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Roast the venison bones in a heavy roasting tin until golden brown, then drain in a colander to remove any excess fat.
  • Put the roasting tin on the hob and continue heat gently. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook until lightly golden brown. Add the red wine and reduce by three quarters.
  • Add the roasted bones, chicken stock and beef stock. Bring to the boil then transfer to a saucepan. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes.
  • Add the red wine vinegar and cook for 5 minutes, regularly skimming any impurities that come to the top with a ladle. Pass through a fine strainer and reduce in a clean pot by simmering gently until you reach a slightly thickened sauce.

Carrot Purée

  • To make the carrot purée, put the carrots in a saucepan. Add enough of the orange juice to cover. Stud the onion with the cloves and add to the pan with the bay leaf, then bring to the boil and simmer until the carrots are tender. Drain in a colander and discard the onion
  • Put a little of the cooking liquid in the bottom of a blender, and slowly add the cooked pieces of carrots, blending between batches, until a smooth purée forms. Pass through a fine sieve and season.

Cabbage

  • To cook the cabbage, place the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of water and heat until it has all melted together.
  • Add the cabbage and bacon and cook gently for 5-6 minutes until the cabbage is tender, but not mushy and has not coloured. Remove the cabbage and bacon from the saucepan, season then drain on kitchen paper and keep warm.

Venison Loin Steaks

  • To cook the venison, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Seal the venison steaks in a hot frying pan with a little rapeseed oil until golden brown all over
  • Move the steaks to the oven for 8-10 minutes for medium rare or longer for medium to well done. Remove from the oven and rest on a wire rack for 5-8 minutes, before plating with the carrot and cabbage, and serving with the venison gravy and garnishing with halved blackberries.