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Recipe: Loin of venison, with cranberry Madeleines, creamed Savoy cabbage, roast onions and butternut squash, red wine jus

Recipe: Christmas loin of venison

A truly festive dish, combining the rich flavor of venison with sweet roasted vegetables, creamed cabbage and soft cranberry filled Madeleines, it is guaranteed to be a showstopper.

Serves: 6
Preparation time: about 1.5 hours


Red wine jus
  • 100 g vegetables (carrot, leek and celery), cut into mirepoix
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 juniper berries, crushed
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 1 litre veal or chicken stock
  • salt, freshly ground pepper
Cranberry madeleines
  • 20 g butter, softened
  • 125 g flour
  • 4 g baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 65 g butter, melted
  • 5 ml lavender oil
  • 10 g green peppercorns
  • 200 g frozen cranberries
  • Maldon sea salt
Roasted onion and butternut squash
  • 15 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 red onions
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 100 g butter
  • thyme sprig
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt, freshly ground pepper
Loin of venison
  • 20 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 x 1.2 kg venison loin
  • salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 100 g butter
Creamed Savoy cabbage
  • 1 Savoy cabbage
  • 2 carrots
  • 10 g butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 ml whipping cream
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


Red wine jus:

In a pan cook the mirepoix in the oil until golden in colour, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf and crushed juniper berries. Deglaze with red wine and reduce by half. Add veal stock and gently simmer for 45 minutes. Strain through a china cap sieve, season and reserve.

Cranberry, peppercorn and lavender madeleines:

Preheat oven to 175˚C. Butter a mini-Madeleine mold using soft butter. Sieve flour and baking powder into a bowl. Beat eggs and add to flour and baking powder. Pour in melted butter and lavender oil and whisk to make a batter. Incorporate the peppercorns and transfer mixture into piping bag. Pipe batter into mold and arrange cranberries on top. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt. Bake until golden, about 7 minutes. Allow to cool and reserve.

Roasted onion and butternut squash:

Preheat oven to 175˚C. Cut red onions in half. Peel and slice butternut squash into discs. In a pan over a high heat add the vegetable oil, then onions face down and the discs of butternut squash. Cook for 3 minutes or until coloured. Add butter, thyme and whole garlic clove. Season and bake in the same oven as the Madeleines transfer to oven until soft, about 5 minutes.

Loin of venison:

In a pan, heat the vegetable oil over a low heat. Season venison loin and place in the pan, gently colouring all sides. Transfer to oven and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from oven turn the loin over and return to oven for a further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and add butter. Gently baste meat with butter then rest for 10 minutes.

Creamed Savoy cabbage:

Discard outer dark green leaves of cabbage, chop into quarters and remove and discard core. Cut the remaining leaves into julienne (5 cm long by 1 mm thick). Cut the carrots into macedoine (5 mm square). In a pan sweat the carrots in butter, add bay leaves and cook until the carrots are tender, about 3 minutes. Add julienne of cabbage and sweat for a further 2 to 3 minutes until cabbage has wilted. Add cream and reduce by half, add lemon juice, season and reserve.

To serve:

Warm red onion, butternut squash and madeleines in the oven for 2 minutes. Heat through the red wine jus and creamed Savoy cabbage. Slice venison loin into 18 equal sized pieces and arrange on warmed plates. Arrange onion and butternut squash discs, 2 or 3 cranberry madeleines and add cabbage. Finish with red wine jus and lavender flower (optional).