Blackberries and venison tend to come into season at roughly the same time and in its wonderful way, nature has ensured that they are a delicious match.
This recipe from our Cookery School at Daylesford Organic Farm is a relatively quick one and combines the rich flavour of venison, tart pickled blackberries, earthy beetroot and salty, creamy cabbage just perfectly.
For the pickled berries:
20g caster sugar
20ml red wine or port
20ml red wine vinegar
aromatics of your choice such as 2 star anise, ½ a cinnamon stick or 1 sprig of rosemary
handful of freshly foraged blackberries
For the jus:
500ml dark stock or organic beef bone broth
1 tsp redcurrant jelly
For the beetroot:
1 large or two small beetroot, washed, trimmed and halved lengthways
For the creamed cabbage:
1 small carrot, finely diced
2 slices of streaky bacon
¼ savoy cabbage, finely sliced
50ml double cream
For the venison:
1 loin of venison
2 tsp pink peppercorns, roughly crushed
the stripped leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Begin by pickling the blackberries. In a pan, combine the sugar, red wine or port, red wine vinegar, water and aromatics. Bring to a simmer and stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool before adding your blackberries and leaving to infuse for at least half an hour.
Next, place the stock or beef bone broth in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently with the lid off until the liquid has reduced by at least a half, or until it is beginning to thicken a little. Whisk through the redcurrant jelly, season and keep warm.
Season the beetroot generously with sea salt and black pepper, wrap in foil and bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until just tender. Set aside to cool slightly in the foil before unwrapping and removing the skin once cool enough to handle. Discard the skin and re-wrap in the foil to keep warm.
While the beetroot is cooking, prepare the carrot and blanch until just tender. Fry the bacon in a pan until nice and crispy before cuting into small pieces. Return to the pan, add the cabbage and a splash of water and simmer until the cabbage is just cooked but still retaining its colour. Strain the carrots and add to the pan with the cabbage and bacon. Set aside.
Set an ovenproof pan over a high heat and add the venison loin. Sear on all sides until turning golden before transferring to the oven to cook through for 10–12 minutes until medium–rare. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest.
Return the cabbage to the heat and add the double cream. Cook until the cream thickens and the vegetables have heated through, check the seasoning before dividing between two warm plates. Roll the venison in the crushed pink peppercorns and thyme leaves and slice. Arrange over the top of the cabbage and divide the beetroot between each of the plates.
Pour over a generous serving of the warm jus. Strain the blackberries from their pickling liquid and arrange over the top of each plate before serving.
Recipe from the Cookery School at Daylesford Organic Farm, Cotswolds. Our guests receive a 10% discount on cookery courses booked ahead or during their stay. Please speak to our Guest Services team to apply your discount.