This recipe may sound extravagant, but I was given most of the ingredients and with some further thought this recipe can be changed to suit. Venison differs in taste, not only according to how long it has been hung for, but according to species, too. The venison (red deer in this instance) was shot and gifted, the champagne won at a raffle and the truffle had been hunted in fine style and passed on to me. Red deer is quite strong in taste, so the sweetness of the berries and jam, and the dryness of the champagne together with the heady aroma of truffle go well in this recipe.

Ingredients

? venison cutlets ? olive oil

? seasoning ? champagne

? blueberry jam ? parsley ? thyme

? blueberries ? truffle ? cream

Method

1. Fry the venison on both sides with olive oil in a flat pan until it is caramelised outside but remains slightly pink inside. Season a little while cooking to your taste. Remove and keep warm on a plate.

2. Add a glass or two of champagne to deglaze the pan, scraping it well to release all the flavours and mix in the juices. Add two heaped teaspoons of blueberry jam, the freshly chopped herbs, the fresh blueberries and finely sliced truffle. All the while keep stirring.

3. As the liquid bubbles and starts to reduce, add a splash of cream, stir well and serve the venison with a crisp salad.

Tips

This venison cut was from the fillet area, so the meat was very delicate and easy to cook; however, other cuts may take slightly longer to cook. As soon as the fresh blueberries go into the pan, make sure you crush them down or break them open otherwise it’ll be like opening shoot day in the kitchen ? they will explode everywhere. Instead of blueberries you could use blackberries and a similar jam; I used frozen berries which I had thawed out earlier.

If you can’t get a truffle, you can buy truffle oil. While the herbs must be fresh, the champagne can be substitued with white wine or sherry, though this does produce a heavier flavour.