Roasted loin of venison

with fig tart & curly kale
Mark Young
Prep time: 
30 minutes
Cook time: 
60 minutes
For the sauce:
  • 50 grams shallots sliced

  • 8 black peppercorns crushed

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 pint full bodied red wine
1/2 pint Game stock or beef stock
  • 1 tsp plain flour

  • 1 tsp butter

  • 1 level tbsp redcurrant jelly
For the fig tarts:
  • 8oz puff pastry shop bought is fine, life is short after all!
flour, for dusting

  • 28 grams butter (plus extra for greasing)
6 figs, halved lengthwise

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil

  • 1 egg beaten

  • 4 tsp Demerara sugar

  • black pepper
Main ingredients:
  • 500g Curly Kale
  • salt & pepper
  • 100grams of butter
  • 4 x 150-200gram pieces of venison loin fillet, well trimmed. Get your butcher to do this for you if you are not confident
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
To make the sauce
  1. Place shallots, peppercorns,  & bay leaf in a pan with the red wine vinegar. Reduce until almost dry then add the red wine and reduce to one third.
  2. Add the stock and reduce again to a third.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flour and the butter together to make BEURRE MANNE, this will thicken the sauce, whisk  it into the broth and bring to a simmer for a few minutes to cook out the flour flavour.
  4. Finally whisk in the redcurrant jelly until dissolved, adjust the seasoning and strain, keep warm until needed for serving.
  5. Prepare the Kale (can be done well in advance) by removing the stalks, rinse and tear into smaller pieces, wash well in cold water and then drain.
For the fig tarts
  1. preheat oven to 200c.
  2. Roll the pastry very thinly into a rectangle larger to provide 4 x 5in x 3in rectangles.
  3. Place the pastries on a lightly greased baking tray, prick each lightly with a fork and chill in the fridge.
  4. Cut the fig in half lengthways and dust the cut side of the fig with a little flour, heat oil in a frying pan and quickly fry them (flour side down) until golden brown, remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  5. Brush the pastries with a beaten egg and place 3 fig halves (cut side up) on the pastry, dot with butter and sprinkle with tsp of Demerara sugar and a good grind of black pepper and then bake for 15-20mins until the pastry has risen and is golden brown. Keep warm.
For the venison
  1. Heat the oil in a large oven proof sauté pan on top of a stove
once sizzling season the pieces of meat with salt/pepper and place in the pan, fry until well sealed turning every 15 seconds.
  2. Add a good knob of butter to the pan and baste the loin pieces until you have a good colour on all sides,  again turning every 15 seconds or so.
  3. Place the pan with the loins in the preheated oven and roast for 8mins for medium rare, 10-12 for medium.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the loins out onto a clean board to rest while you cook the Kale and prepare to plates.
  5. While the venison rests  cook the kale by melting the remaining butter in a pan with a few tbsps of water, once bubbling add the leaves, stir, season and cover with a lid to create steam. Cook for 5-6 mins on a low heat stirring occasionally.
To serve

Pour off any oil from the venison pan and then de glaze it with the prepared sauce. This will get any tasty bits left from cooking the Venison left in the pan.

Divide the kale on one side of each plate, and put a fig tart by its side. With a wide pastry brush sweep a thick line of the sauce through the centre of each plate, then carve the rested loins into 1.5 cm thick slices and arrange on the sauce. Serve the remaining sauce in a sauce boat, sit back and await the gasps of praise from your guests!!

Chefs tip

Resting meat is the most important thing you can do to it, cut the venison straight out of the oven and it will be dry, the flavour and juices will run out if you don’t rest it. All meat needs time to relax when it comes out of the oven or pan. A good guide is 5 or 6 minutes for small cuts, 30 minutes for a standard chicken or small family joints and an hour or more for really big joints and the Christmas turkey!! Our Families 7 kilo bird was rested for 2 hours this year left, wrapped in foil with a clean tea towels round it. When carved it was still piping hot and beautifully moist.