The inspiration for this saddle of venison recipe comes from the Chiltern Hills which are close to Laurie Gear's restaurant, Artichoke. Foraged Douglas Fir needles and salt crusted celeriac give this dish a festive aroma while Hawthorn berries and rosehips add acidity. Laurie Gear recommends substituting the pine needles for citrus peel and cranberries for the foraged berries, if necessary

For the salt baked celeriac, make a mixture of rock salt with the egg white to form a paste. Chop the Douglas fir needles and add to the mixture
Pat the salt mixture around the celeriac and place on a baking tray and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. remove from the oven and allow to cool
For the venison sauce, place a large pan over a medium heat and add a little olive oil. Roughly chop the carrot, celery, onion and garlic and then sweat in the pan until lightly caramelized. Pour in the red wine and reduce by half
What 'to sweat' means
To sweat is to cook something - usually vegetables - gently on a low-medium heat until tender but not coloured, while stirring frequently
Add the roasted venison bones, top up with chicken stock. Bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes
Use a large slotted spoon or pair of tongs to remove the bones. Pass through muslin cloth over a fine strainer to remove all the solids. Return to a clean pan, and bring to a rolling boil, reduce by 3/4
Rolling boil
Rolling boil refers to the state of continuous rapid boiling that continues when stirred
Place a pan over a medium heat. Add a large knob of butter, as soon as it begins to foam, pan-fry the venison steaks until caramelised all over. Season with salt and transfer to an oven set to 200°C/gas mark 6 for approximately 12 minutes. Allow to rest for 8-10 minutes
Blanch the cavolo nero in boiling salted water for 2 minutes and then plunge into ice cold water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water. Reheat in a hot pan with some butter and season to taste
For the emulsion, cook the berries and rosehips in the orange juice and sugar in a small pan on a medium heat until tender. Blitz in a blender and pass through a fine strainer. It should have the consistency of a thin syrup and can be left at room temperature to serve
To serve, brush a strip of emulsion across each plate. Place the buttered cavolo nero on each plate, just off centre, and lay slices of venison on top. Cut the salt baked celeriac into cubes and arrange on each plate along with the shallots. Drizzle with the venison sauce and serve
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Saddle of venison recipe with a spicy and rich red wine, a medium and round red wine, or a full bodied red wine



Salt baked celeriac

Venison sauce


  • 100g of hawthorn berry
  • 100g of rosehips
  • 200ml of orange juice
  • 50g of caster sugar

To plate


  1. Fine chinoise
  2. Pastry brush

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Laurie Gear's saddle of venison recipe is unique and carries a punchy festive flavour

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