Hunter’s Plate – Trio of Game with Fondant Potato

A complex main from Fintan O'Toole on The Restaurant. Are you game to give it a try?


  • venison with plum sauce:
  • loin of venison (100g x 4)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • for the sauce:
  • 4-6 plums (quartered and stones removed)
  • 1 orange (juice and zest)
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • pigeon with berry sauce:
  • olive oil
  • 2 crowns of pigeon
  • 50 g butter
  • salt and pepper
  • for the sauce:
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • sprig of fresh thyme (chopped)
  • knob of butter
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 500 ml good quality beef or chicken stock
  • 50 g blackberries
  • 50 g redcurrants
  • rabbit with mustard sauce:
  • 2 saddles of rabbit, (ask your butcher for the rack, kidney and saddle, the saddle has two loins, and the bones)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • for the sauce:
  • 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (peeled and crushed)
  • sprig of fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 50 ml brandy
  • knob of butter
  • 500 ml good quality beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tblsp english mustard
  • 500 ml cream
  • for the fondant potato:
  • 4 large rooster potatoes, peeled and cut into cylinders
  • 450 g butter
  • 1 sprig thyme


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/Gas 4.
  2. To make the fondant potatoes place a non-stick oven proof frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter to the pan. When the butter starts to foam add the potatoes and thyme. Cook for five minutes on one side then turn over and cook in the preheated oven at 170ºC for 20-30 minutes until tender.
  3. For the Venison:
  4. Season the meat with salt and pepper and sear on a hot pan with the oil for 2-3 minutes until the meat is caramelised. Turn over and sear the other side, then remove from the heat and leave to rest.
  5. To make the sauce put the plums, orange juice, orange zest and honey in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.
  6. For the Pigeon:
  7. Season the pigeon with salt and pepper. Drizzle a frying pan with the olive oil and cook the pigeon for 2 minutes on each side. Add the butter and sit the crowns on their ends (so that they 'sit up') and spoon the foaming butter over them, basting them for a further 4-5 minutes until golden. Set aside and allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes. Then run a knife down the centre bone to take each breast off the crown, set aside the meat and keep warm
  8. Using the leftover bones from the pigeon, chop them up and place them in a saucepan with the onion, garlic, thyme and butter, Fry until all the ingredients are golden. Add the red wine and chicken or beef stock. Bring the liquid to the boil and skim off any impurites that rise to the top. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours. Keep checking the sauce at regular intervals. When ready strain the sauce through a sieve into another saucepan and put the saucepan on medium to high heat and reduce the liquid until it reaches a sauce consistency and slightly thickened. Drop the the redcurrants and blackberries into the sauce and stir in gently until they are warmed through.
  9. For the Rabbit:
  10. Season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry off the rabbit for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside to rest.
  11. In a saucepan fry off the onion, garlic, thyme and in the butter, Fry until all the ingredients are golden. Stir in the brandy and cook off for a minute. Pour in the stock and reduce by more than half. Then add the cream, bring back to the boil and simmer before adding the mustard and cooking for a few minutes. Strain the sauce through a sieve and pour into another saucepan. Heat the sauce gently until it reduces and coats the back of a spoon.
  12. To serve, slice the venison into three equal pieces and put a spoon of the sauce beside it at one side of your plate. Next slice the pigeon breast in half and put on the same plate and spoon a little berry sauce on top. Slice the rabbit loin in half and place on the plate with a little mustard sauce beside it. Lastly place the fondant potato beside the meat it and serve immediately.


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