Serves: 4

Difficulty: Hard

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins


  • 1 whole saddle of venison
  • Cabbage
  • 150 ml double cream

For the herb crust:

  • 60g fine dried breadcrumbs 
  • 2g picked and chopped rosemary
  • 2g picked thyme leaves chopped
  • 10g picked parsley
  • 15g chopped chives

For the fondant potatoes:

  • 6 x large red rooster potatoes, cut with fondant cutter 
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 2 bruised cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 2 x 50ml water

For the game gravy:

  • Venison trimmings 
  • 900ml beef stock/chicken stock 
  • Venison bones 
  • 150 ml Port 
  • 1 tsp red currant jelly 
  • Splash of Womersley mixed fruit vinegar 
  • 2 banana shallots
  • Approx. 3 large field or cep mushrooms
  • Pickling baby onions 
  • Streaky pancetta


1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
2. To make the gravy, roast your bones in the oven.
3. Heat a pan, add a little oil and fry off the venison trimmings, jiggling the pan now and then. Add the bones and a little bit of butter if needed.
4. Add the stock and simmer for about 15 minutes.
5. Strain the reduced stock.
6. Meanwhile, blanch the pickling onions in boiling water for about 10 minutes to start them off then drain.
7. Then sauté them in a separate pan in a little butter to brown slightly. When caramelised, add the port. 
8. Fry the pancetta separately in its own fat, then add to the port sauce.
9. Fry the mushrooms separately in butter and add to the port sauce.
10. To make the herb crust, cut the crust from a white loaf and dry in the oven but don’t allow to colour 100%. When dry place in a magimix and blend until fine.
11. Remove and weigh 60g and put aside. Add all the chopped herbs to a small magimix and blend, add in the breadcrumbs and continue until a vibrant green colour is achieved.  Set aside.  
12. To cook the venison, pat the loin dry and cut into steaks. 
13. Season and seal (for roughly 5 minutes) in a little oil in a very hot frying pan. Place in the oven for 2–3 minutes.
14. Take the venison out of the oven and rest on a tray, turning the meat every couple of minutes.
15. Just before plating up, roll the meat in the herb crust, then slice the venison to serve.
16. To make the fondant potatoes, once the fondants are cut run a peeler around to remove edges. 
17. Slice the butter and place on bottom of an 8 inch non stick fry pan. Place the potatoes on top and heat, melting the butter until it starts to colour. Add the garlic and thyme and salt and pepper with 50ml water. 
18. Bring back to the boil. Place in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C/190°C.  After this time remove from the oven and turn the potatoes over and add the 2nd lot of 50 ml water and bring to the boil.
19. Place back in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked. Check colour, if more is required place pan on heat and brown base of potato till colour is achieved. Remove and serve.
20. To make the game gravy, caramelise the trimmings until coloured and then add the shallots and fry for 2 minutes, add the mushrooms and fry for a further 2 minutes.  
21. Add the tomato puree to the pan and dry roast and then add the plum tomato and cook until soft.   Then add the thyme, bay leaf and garlic and stir in. 
22. Pour in the port and reduce until just coating the meat, then add 1/3 of the stock and bring to the boil. Pour in the rest of the stock and add the roasted bones, allow to simmer for 15 minutes – skimming fat from the top. Strain using a chinois and then place stock back on the heat and continue to skim.  Reduce until the taste and consistency you require is achieved. Finally add red currant jelly to taste.
23. Chop, then blanch and drain the cabbage. Place in a fresh pan, stir in the cream and season.

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