Venison tartare, by Steve Smith

12 November 2010
Venison tartare, by Steve Smith

Our seasonal recipe for venison tartare comes courtesy of Steve Smith, executive head chef at the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire.

(Serves 1)

â- 2.5g chopped lilliput capers
â- 2.5g chopped shallot
â- 2 drops tabasco
â- 2 drops Henderson's relish
â- Mustard mayonnaise
â- Salt

For the tarragon emulsion (Makes about 350ml) â- 30g tarragon
â- 1 egg yolk
â- 100ml chicken stock
â- 4 slices white bread
â- 50ml Chardonnay vinegar
â- 1 shallot chopped
â- ¼ clove garlic chopped
â- 125ml rapeseed oil
â- 125ml vegetable oil
â- Salt

For the roast beetroot â- 1 bunch red baby beetroot
â- 1 bunch yellow baby beetroot
â- 1 bunch candy baby beetroot
â- 75ml pommace oil
â- 15 black peppercorns
â- 3 cloves garlic crushed
â- 9 sprigs thyme
â- 15g salt

For the beetroot marinade â- 60ml pommace oil
â- 60ml sherry vinegar

For the pickled beetroot gel(makes about 350ml) â- 1 bottle pickled beetroot
â- 93ml ruby port
â- 25g sugar
â- 13g Ultratex (a tapioca starch)

For the venison caviar â- 100ml cooked tapioca
â- 125ml venison stock
â- Salt


For the tarragon emulsion Pick the tarragon and blanch in boiling water. Refresh and squeeze all excess moisture from it. Place the tarragon, stock, egg yolk, bread, vinegar, shallot and garlic into the Thermomix and blend to a paste. Add the oils gradually. Season as required. Pass through a chinois and store in a small Kilner jar.

For the roast beetroot Pack the three kinds of beetroot in separate papillotes. Mix remaining ingredients together and divide between the three. Bake in an oven for 25-30 minutes at 180°C. Remove and cool slightly. Peel and trim the beetroot while warm. Reserve any of the oil from the cooking process.

For the beetroot marinade Place the peeled beetroot into separate vac bags and divide the vinaigrette between them. Vac and marinade for six hours. Remove and use as required. Keep the liquid to dress the beetroot leaves.

For the pickled beetroot gel Blend the contents of the bottle together in the Vitaprep. Pass the liquid through a muslin. Keep the liquid. Bring the port and sugar to the boil. Cool. Whisk all ingredients together and store.

For the venison caviar Place the tapioca and stock into a pan and bring to the boil, taste and season. Place into a Kilner jar and cool. Store.

For the tartare Mix all ingredients together and taste for seasoning. Place into round mould and leave to set for five minutes. Turn out on the plate.

By Steve Smith, executive head chef, the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire


For this recipe there are several tricky ingredients, but the tarragon and the different vinegars in the tartare and the emulsion will need something that has a young and very fresh acidity. The meaty flavours of the venison and earthy sweetness of the beetroot will also require a wine that has similar flavours. With this in mind, try a young northern Rhône Syrah from St Joseph or Crozes Hermitage with sweet, dark berry fruit and a rich earthy flavour but fresh acidity.

Ronan Sayburn MS is director of wine and spirits at Hotel du Vin

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