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Recipe of the week: Mr Ward’s loin of “Red Deer” venison

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Recipe of the week: Mr Ward’s loin of “Red Deer” venison

Serves 4

Venison
200g Maldon sea salt
2 sprigs of rosemary, stripped
10 juniper berries
5 fennel seeds
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, peeled
4 loins of venison (150g tournedos)
Vegetable oil
50g unsalted butter
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped

In a food processor, blitz the first seven ingredients, saving 50g of salt to add once blended. Sprinkle this seasoning on all sides of the venison loin steak.

Heat a large cast-iron/thick-bottomed sauté pan on high with a splash of vegetable oil until almost smoking but not burning. Add the venison. Ensure each side is sealed and has a caramelised golden-brown colour. This should take about two to three minutes.

Add 50g of unsalted butter, cooking and basting for a further two to three minutes. Remove the loins from the pan and rest on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, to retain their flavour and natural juices.

Place the loins on a flat tray under the grill for one minute either side. Remove and brush with damson jus (see below), roll in the chopped chives and carve each end to reveal the perfect medium-rare serving. Place on a bed of cavolo nero, and decorate with the venison garnish (see below). Serve with parsnip purée and salt-baked winter potatoes (see below).

Damson jus
1 litre venison stock
200ml homemade stock (chicken, beef and/or vegetable)
Bouquet garni
10 juniper berries
100ml ruby port
50g redcurrant jelly
50g damson purée
Unsalted butter (optional)

Reduce the venison and homemade stock with the bouquet garni and juniper berries by two-thirds. Add the port, redcurrant jelly and damson purée. Reduce to a syrup consistency to coat the back of a spoon. Pass through a chinois. For extra gloss, gradually whisk in cubes of butter. Adding the butter gradually will ensure that your sauce won’t split.

Venison garnish
5 girolles mushrooms, trimmed
Vegetable oil
50g truffle butter
2 sprigs of stripped thyme
Cavolo nero, one head, washed and trimmed
Vegetable stock
Unsalted butter

Prepare the girolles by peeling the stalks. Fry until coloured. Reduce the heat and add the butter and thyme. Cook for a further minute and season to taste.

Cut away the stalk of the cavolo nero and cut the leaves into 10cm strips. Blanch for 30 seconds in a pan of boiling vegetable stock, then pour into a hot pan with a knob of butter and seasoning. Cook for a minute more till soft.

The timing of the garnish and the resting of the venison are the cru­cible parts of the dish coming together.

Parsnip purée
250g parsnips, peeled and diced
200ml whole milk
50g unsalted butter
Ground white pepper
Sea salt
50ml vegetable stock

Cover the parsnips in a pan with the milk, butter and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until soft. Blend until smooth, then season and put into a piping bag to serve.

Salt-baked winter potatoes
100g crème fraîche
1tsp cream cheese
1tsp horseradish
1 egg yolk
1tsp chives
6 baby winter potatoes (ideally Pink Fir Apple)
250g rock salt
3 rosemary sprigs
1tsp black peppercorns
50g parsley, chopped leaves
50g Panko breadcrumbs
Venison seasoning

Place the crème fraîche, cream cheese, horseradish, egg yolk and chives in a bowl. Mix and season to taste. Place in a piping bag and set aside.

Cover the potatoes with salt, rosemary and pepper­corns on a baking tray. Roast them at 160°C until soft – about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Make a herb crumb in a food processor with the parsley and breadcrumbs.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and leave to cool. Cut the cool potatoes in half and trim the bottom round edge, so it sits flat on the plate. Pipe on the cream mixture and finish by sprinkling the parsley herb crumb on top.

Assemble the whole dish and finish with the parsnip purée to decorate as in the photograph.

Photography by Andy Richardson

Recipe taken from Onwards & Upwards: 40 signature recipes from the Art School restaurant by Paul Askew

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