Sika deer with mashed swede, girolles and Twiglets

  • Main
  • medium
  • 4
  • 2 hours 30 minutes


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Sika deer

Spiced damson sauce


  • 75g of plain flour
  • 15g of water
  • 10g of black treacle
  • 5g of olive oil
  • 10g of malt extract, or treacle
  • 10g of Marmite
  • salt flakes

Pudding filling

Suet pastry

Mashed swede


To serve

  • micro red cabbage
To begin, make the spiced damson sauce. Place all of the ingredients in a non-reactive pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until thick
Transfer to a blender, blitz to a smooth shiny jam and store in a squeezy bottle. This will keep in the fridge for several weeks
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
To make the Twiglets, place the flour, water and treacle in a blender and blitz until fully combined. Transfer to a clean work surface and knead until smooth. Once smooth, work in the olive oil and leave to rest for 30 minutes
  • 75g of plain flour
  • 15g of water
  • 10g of black treacle
  • 5g of olive oil
Pinch off little pieces of the dough and roll them into thin sticks using your hands. Lay them on a baking mat or baking paper lined tray and bake for 5 minutes
Preheat the oven to its lowest setting
Mix the malt extract or treacle with the Marmite (if it’s too thick and sticky, warm it for a couple of seconds in the microwave), then lightly glaze each twig with the mixture. Sprinkle with salt flakes and bake at a very low heat for several hours, or until crisp
  • 10g of malt extract, or treacle
  • 10g of Marmite
  • salt flakes
Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 4
To make the pudding filling, in a small casserole dish brown the diced venison in a little oil over a medium-low heat. Season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper. Remove the meat then add the onion and sweat until tender
Add the carrot, thyme, bay leaf, star anise and red wine to the casserole dish. Bring the wine to the boil for a few seconds, then return the meat to the pan and cover with the stock. Cover with a circle of parchment paper and a lid and cook in the oven for an hour and a half. Leave to cool then strain through a sieve or colander
Discard the thyme stalks, star anise and bay leaf and reduce the remaining gravy to a sauce-like consistency. Reserve some of the sauce for serving and mix the remainder with the venison
To make the suet pastry, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and add just enough cold water to bring it together, but not so much that it becomes sticky. Butter and flour 4 individual dariole moulds. Roll out the pastry to a 2mm thickness and cut out 4 rounds of the pastry big enough to line the dariole moulds. Cut out 4 smaller rounds to act as lids for the puddings
Line and fill the moulds with the braised venison mixture, put on the lids and trim away any excess pastry, making sure the lids are tightly sealed. Wrap each pudding in cling film
Place the puddings onto an upturned saucer in a large saucepan and add enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the sides of the pan. You may need to use 2 pans to cook all of the puddings. Steam for 30 minutes, then keep warm until ready to serve
To make the mashed swede, cut the swede into small chunks, place in a medium pan and cover with water. Add the salt, bring to the boil, then simmer until very tender. Drain well before returning to the pan, then roughly mash with the butter and black pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve
Season the venison loin with fine sea salt and pan-roast in a little oil over a moderately high heat for 3–4 minutes. Add a knob of butter and continue to cook for another couple of minutes whilst continually basting with the butter until caramelised
Remove the venison from the heat and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Briefly sauté the girolles and garlic in a little butter until just wilted
To serve, turn the puddings onto warm plates with a spoonful of swede on the side. Carve the loin into 4 even pieces and season the cut surfaces before putting on the plates. Squeeze a few dots of damson sauce around the plates, then scatter the mushrooms and Twiglets along with a few sprigs of cabbage cress. Warm the remaining venison sauce and pour over the pudding
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