Claude Bosi adds a delicious smokiness to his sauce grand veneur (or huntsman's sauce) by cold smoking dark chocolate in a Bradley smoker. This method achieves a superb consistency and adds an extra depth of flavour to this rich venison loin recipe, with the rich, bitter chocolate offsetting the natural sweetness of the meat. Venison bones for the sauce should be available from your butcher – ask them for help removing the venison sinew too, if required.
The folder name
Please choose a different name.
Please enter a name for the new folder.
Begin by placing the chocolate in a Bradley smoker, leaving it to cold-smoke for 2 hours
70g of 75% dark chocolate
Meanwhile, make a venison jus for the sauce grand veneur. Place a large pan over a high heat with a splash of oil, add the chopped venison bones and cook until caramelised
1 dash of oil
1.5kg venison bones, chopped
Add the shallots, thyme and black pepper and allow the shallots to caramelise, then deglaze the pan with 400ml of the chicken stock and reduce by three-quarters
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 sprig of thyme
1 tsp black pepper
0.4l chicken stock, plus extra to cover
Add another 400ml of stock, reduce again, then repeat again with the remaining 400ml of stock. Transfer to a pressure cooker, top up with enough extra chicken stock to cover and cook for 45 minutes.
0.8l chicken stock, plus extra to cover
While the venison jus is reducing begin to prepare the sauce grand veneur. Add a little oil to a separate pan and sweat down the shallots with the thyme, garlic and peppercorns. Pour in the Madeira and reduce to a glaze, then add the Port and reduce again
1 dash of oil
3 shallots, finely sliced
10g of thyme
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
3 black peppercorns
375ml of Madeira
375ml of port
Pass the jus through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce down to a sauce-like consistency. Weigh out 400ml and add this to the sauce, then pass the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Reduce down to a sauce-like consistency and stir in the smoked chocolate until melted. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve
For the pomme soufflé, wash and peel the potatoes before slicing lengthways into 6 even slices approximately 6mm thick. Pat the slices dry with paper towel
2 large potatoes
Fill a pan a quarter full with vegetable oil and heat to 110°C. Fill another pan almost to the top with vegetable oil and heat carefully to 200°C, maintaining the temperatures in both pans
vegetable oil, for frying
Add the potato slices to the pan with the 110°C oil and shake constantly until they start to puff up slightly. Transfer the slices one by one into the 200°C oil using spoons or tongs, frying until puffed and golden. Remove and place on greaseproof paper to cool, then wrap in cling film and place in the fridge
For the pumpkin confit, peel the pumpkin and cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and sinews, then cut twelve small curved wedges, reserving the rest of the flesh for the purée
1kg pumpkin, Delica variety
Add the salted butter to a deep pan and place over a moderate heat to melt, not allowing it to boil. Add the pumpkin wedges to the pan and cook in the hot butter for 20–30 minutes until soft and fondant-like, then cool and chill until ready to serve
200g of salted butter
Preheat a water bath to 65°C
Remove all sinew from the venison loin, slice into six portions and season well with salt. Seal the portions in vacuum bags and cook in a water bath for 20–30 minutes depending on the size of the portions
1 venison loin, preferably fallow deer
Preheat a steam oven to 100°C
Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin purée. Dice 600g of the remaining pumpkin flesh into small pieces and seal in a vacuum bag with the butter and salt. Place into the steam oven and cook until soft
100g of butter
1 pinch of salt
Once cooked, transfer the softened pumpkin to a blender and blitz until smooth. Scoop out the seeds from the passion fruit, add to the purée and blend again. Season to taste and set aside
6 passion fruits
Add a few knobs of butter to a large frying pan and place over a moderate heat until the butter begins to foam. Remove the venison portions from the vacuum bags and sear in the hot butter until caramelised. Set aside to rest, reserving the juices from the pan
While the venison is resting, add a little butter to a frying pan and warm through the confit pumpkin wedges. Roughly chop together the toasted pumpkin seeds and mixed herbs to create a rough crumb and spread out on a plate. Remove the pumpkin wedges from the pan and roll in the crumb mixture to coat
100g of pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
10g of mixed herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and chives
For the pomme soufflé, heat a pan a quarter filled with oil to 210°C. Remove the potato slices from the fridge and fry in the hot oil, basting in the pan until puffed up and crisp on the outside. Remove from the pan and drain quickly on kitchen paper, seasoning generously with salt
To serve, carve the venison portions in half and place two pieces on each serving plate, arranging two wedges of pumpkin alongside. Add a quenelle of the purée and top with baby basil leaves, then pour over some of the warm sauce grand veneur and finish with the pomme soufflé and a drizzle of pan juices
baby basil, to garnish
Want more recipes like this delivered to your inbox?
Sign up to our newsletter now and we'll send you a hand-picked round-up of the best seasonal recipes and features from the best chefs each week.
Invalid email address
Thanks for subscribing
We'll only contact you around once per week with the best recipes and features. You can unsubscribe at any time.