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Loin of venison with chocolate sauce

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The chocolate sauce may sound like an odd inclusion, but believe us, this rich sauce from Matthew Mason of The Jack in the Green works wonders with the beautiful blushed venison

Loin of Exmoor venison

Serves 6

You will need

Shallots 400g, peeled and roughly chopped
Garlic 2 cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
Thyme 6 sprigs
Bay leaves 2
Red wine 350ml
Mixed peppercorns 1 tbsp, crushed
Brown chicken stock 1l
Bitter chocolate 15g, grated
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
Olive oil a drizzle
Venison loin steaks 6
Double cream 200ml
Smoked streaky bacon 10 rashers
Savoy cabbage half a head, cored


For the sauce:

  1. Sauté the shallots with the herbs, crushed peppercorns (and any venison trim if available) with a little olive oil in a deep sauté pan. Do this over a moderate heat until they have softened without colouring.
  2. Add the red wine and reduce until the liquid has all but evaporated. Then add the brown chicken stock and reduce to a sauce consistency (about 20-25 minutes). Finally pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan.

For the venison:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and heat an ovenproof frying pan on the hob. Season the venison fillets and seal them well in a little olive oil over a medium-high heat allowing 1-2 minutes each side.
  2. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 3-4 minutes turning half way through. Allow to rest in a warm place for a few minutes before serving.

For the creamed cabbage:

  1. Cut the bacon into strips and cook in a little oil in a frying pan until they begin to crisp. Remove any excess oil then add the cream and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Finely shred the cabbage and blanch in a large pan of boiling salted water for about 1-2 minutes until just tender. Drain thoroughly and add to the cream mixture, season and keep warm.

To serve:

  1. While the meat is resting, re-heat the sauce and off the heat whisk in the grated chocolate until it has melted and the sauce is smooth.
  2. Neatly slice the venison and place on top of the creamed cabbage and bacon on warmed plates. Pour the sauce around and serve immediately, perhaps with some good buttery mashed potatoes.

Chef’s tip: ‘Serve with some good buttery mashed potatoes and red cabbage,’ says Matt.

Find more recipes from Matthew and the team at The Jack in the Green in their new book, The Jack Cook Book Volume One.

Also try

Venison casserole

Chris Hicks of The Catherine Wheel shares his classic seasonal recipe for venison casserole with fresh thyme dumplings

Chef Dave Jenkins reinvents the classic beef wellington recipe with his exciting venison version, perfect for Sunday lunch