Venison with creamed cabbage, crispy bacon and raisin and black pepper sauce

07 December 2012
Venison with creamed cabbage, crispy bacon and raisin and black pepper sauce

(Serves four)
For the creamed Savoy cabbage
1 small Savoy cabbage, chopped
50ml vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
100ml white wine
1 bay leaf
1tsp fresh thyme
500ml double cream
100g unsalted butter
1tsp nutmeg, grated
Sea salt and white pepper to season
1tbs flat leaf parsley

For the peppercorn sauce
1 medium orange, zested
1tsp ginger, grated
50ml honey
1 whole star anise
1 fresh bay leaf
100ml red wine
2tbsp redcurrant jelly
2 crushed juniper berries
50ml red wine vinegar
2tsp peppercorns
100g raisins
400ml good quality beef stock

For the venison
4 x 200g venison haunch portions
4 slices streaky bacon
2tsp vegetable oil
1 pinch crushed juniper berries
Cracked black pepper
Redcurrants to garnish

For the creamed Savoy cabbage
Remove the large outer leaves of cabbage, shred the inside and give it a good wash. Heat the oil gently in a large pan, add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft and tender.
Add the wine, bay leaf and thyme and cook for a further 5 minutes. Lower the heat, adding the shredded cabbage, cook for 5 minutes, add the cream and cook until the cream starts to thicken. As the cream thickens add the chopped butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Reduce the mixture until it is thick and creamy. Add the chopped parsley before serving.

For the peppercorn sauce Zest the orange and grate the ginger. Crush the juniper berries, black peppercorns and bay leaf together. Put the ingredients into a pan and gently heat.
Add the star anise, red wine, redcurrant jelly, honey, raisins and red wine vinegar and stir gently. Simmer on a low heat until the mixture reduces by half, then add the beef stock, bringing it to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half.

For the venison Prepare the venison by generously coating it with cracked black pepper and juniper berries. In a pan fry the bacon until crispy. Set both aside.
Put a large pan on a high heat, add your oil to the hot pan, when oil begins to smoke gently add your venison portions. Seal all sides until they just start to caramelise. Remove the meat carefully and place in an ovenproof dish.
Place in the oven on 180°C for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to rest for another 8 minutes covering it with foil to retain heat.
To serve, place a large spoonful of cabbage on a plate, topped with sliced venison and a generous amount of warmed peppercorn sauce. Sprinkle some bacon and redcurrants over to finish.

Raymond Fulton-Corrie, executive chef, Bumpkin

RECOMMENDED WINE "What a great dish for winter. I can imagine having this on a very cold night with a powerful glass of red wine. I recently tried a few Priorato wines from Catalunya in Spain. They often used to be over-extracted, too oaky and too high in alcohol, but some thoughtful producers are now trying a more hands-off approach which is resulting in far better wines. Sometimes less is more! This style of winemaking allows a better expression of the grapes, sweetness of the Grenache to shine through together with structure from the Carignan (Carinena) and Cabernet Sauvignon and the spiciness of the Syrah. It's a great combination for the texture and flavour of this dish."
Xavier Rousset, co-owner of Texture and 28°-50°, London

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