by Sarah Keyworth
The ultimate date-night meal. Rich red flavours in venison, finished with a summer blackberry and red wine jus, teamed with a cauliflower purée - this is our new go-to for really showing off. Also a great contender for dinner party extravagance.
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 20 min
- One Rack of venison with at least 4 rib bones
- 2 whole fennel or 1 large one
- 1 medium cauliflower
- fresh or dried nutmeg
- 4tbsp double cream
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150ml red wine
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- A good handful of fresh blackberries
- 1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
- 1tbsp blackberry jam or jelly
- Salt and pepper to taste
I make the sauce while the venison is resting, that way you can add all of those lovely cooking juices from the venison into your sauce. You could use a rack of lamb which would be equally delicious
Separate the cauliflower into florets and steam until tender. Pop the steamed cauliflower into a blender with a grating of nutmeg, salt & pepper and blitz, add double cream a tablespoon at a time until you get a nice purée texture.
Slice the fennel bulb from top to bottom in roughly 1cm thick slices. Put a good drizzle of olive oil into a frying pan on medium heat, when hot, add your fennel slices and cook until soft and coloured.
Take your venison out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. Heat your oven to 180 degrees fan. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil all over your meat and fry all over in a very hot pan until it is seared all over, pop the pan into your preheated oven and cook to your liking. (I did mine for 15 minutes for rare). Remove from the oven and pop onto a foil covered plate to rest for 15 minutes. Keep any cooking liquid for your sauce
Red wine & blackberry sauce:
Put your red wine, blackberry jam/jelly, balsamic and crushed garlic into a saucepan along with any juices that you may have in the venison pan. Cook on high until reduced to a sauce consistency, pop in your fresh blackberries just to heat through.
To plate up, spoon your cauliflower purée onto warm plates, top with the sautéed fennel, slice your venison into individual chops and place 2 on each plate, spoon over your wine and blackberry sauce.
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