Main Course: Venison

One of the main course recipes from the Cliff House challenge


  • 2 saddles of venison
  • game seasoning the cliff:
  • 24gr coriander seeds
  • 10gr cloves
  • 15gr black pepper
  • 20gr mace
  • 4x cardamon pods
  • 20gr juniper berries
  • 24gr star aniseed
  • 50gr ground pistachio nuts
  • 30gr cacao nibs
  • sea salt
  • beluga lentils:
  • 50gr beluga lentils
  • 20gr carrot, finely diced
  • 20gr celeriac, finely diced
  • 20gr celery, finely diced
  • 10gr leek, finely diced
  • 5gr lovage, chopped
  • 100ml venison jus
  • vegetable stock
  • smoked garlic:
  • 24 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • crushed peppercorns
  • sea salt
  • flexible black pudding:
  • 200gr black pudding
  • 75 gr venison liver
  • 450ml venison jus
  • 50 gr butter
  • 42 gr vegetal
  • 1tsp red wine vinegar
  • confit silver onion:
  • 20 x cleaned silver onions
  • 500 ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • rosemary and thyme
  • black pudding powder
  • crisp red onion:
  • 1 red onion
  • 20gr melted butter
  • flour
  • salt
  • chicory :
  • 20 x mini chicory
  • 4 tblsp butter
  • 24 gr sugar
  • 8 gr salt
  • 15gr vinegar
  • ground pepper
  • nasturtium gel:
  • 250 ml nasturtium water
  • 2.90 gr xantana
  • salt to taste
  • garnish:
  • nasturtium
  • chickweed
  • black pudding powder


  1. To make the venison:
  2. Debone the Venison Saddle.
  3. Marinate the venison strip loin with the game spice mix. Spread two layers of cling film on a work surface, place the venison on top and roll it into a tight sausage shape, then leave to firm up in the fridge. Poach the venison in a water bath at 56 degrees celsius for 16 minutes. Remove it from the cling film, season it with salt and sear it in a pan in foaming butter until just before it reaches the desired degree of doneness and then remove it from the pan – it will continue to cook in its own residual heat. Mix the cacao nibs and ground pistachio nuts together, roll the cooked venison in the mix to coat it and then leave the meat to rest for two to three minutes in a warm spot before carving.
  4. To make the flexible black pudding:
  5. Carefully measure out all the ingredients and add to a thermo blender cup. Set the temperature to 90 degrees celsius and blend the contents of the cup at a medium speed for four minutes, and then an additional four minutes at a high speed. Check the seasoning and pour the mix into a rectangular tray and let it set in the fridge. Once fully set, slice the pudding into long strips and coat each one with some oil from the smoked garlic and heat it through in the oven
  6. To make the chicory:
  7. Remove the outer leaves of the chicory and put them in a vacuum bag. Add the other listed ingredients, seal the bag tightly then cook in a steam oven or a pot of boiling water until the leaves are soft but still firm to the bite. Set aside until needed.
  8. To make the Confit Onion:
  9. Place the oil in a suitable pot and add the aromates, then add the onions and simmer them until soft, before turning off the heat, and let the onions cool down in the oil , in service we reheat the onion and drain just before serving – seasoning hem and give them a sprinkle of black pudding powder .
  10. To make the smoked garlic:
  11. Place the garlic cloves in a small pot and cover it with clingfilm. Using a hand smoker, pump wood smoke into the pot and let it infuse with the garlic for a few minutes. Repeat this process two or three times – the garlic will adopt the smoky flavour almost immediately. Add the oil, herbs and seasoning, and over a low heat, confit the garlic cloves until tender. Set aside until needed.
  12. To make the crisp red onion rings:
  13. Peel the red onions and shave them into thin rings. Butter the rings, dust them with flour then reassemble whole onion slices on a piece of baking paper on a baking tray by layering the rings on top of each other from big to small. Repeat this until all onion is layered then cover the rings with more baking paper and place a weight such as a second baking tray on top. Gently cook the onion rings in the oven at 160 degrees celsius until they slightly colour then remove them from the oven and place in a dehydrator to dry until crisp.
  14. To make the Nasturtium Gel:
  15. Take the nasturtium water and season with salt- then whisk in the Xantana , and keep whisking until a gel starts to form, then place in squeezy bottle and keep cold for service
  16. To make the beluga lentils:
  17. Simmer the lentils in the vegetable stock until tender then season the liquid and set the lentils aside in the fridge until needed. To serve, drain the lentils from their cooking liquid, place in a suitable pot, add the venison jus and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the raw vegetables and check the seasoning. At the very last moment, add the lovage.

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