Raw deer with wild garlic and wood sorrel

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This complex venison tartare recipe from Tommy Banks pairs the raw meat with flavours of British springtime. While it may look like a lot of work, elements such as the onion crumble, chilli ferment, pickled onions and wild garlic mayonnaise can be made in advance. Any home cook who puts the time in to create this dish will be rewarded with an incredible, Michelin-starred starter to kick off a knockout dinner party.

First published in 2019




Pepper and chilli ferment

Pickled onions

Onion crumble

  • 10 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 1 dash of vegetable oil
  • salt

Wild garlic mayonnaise

Rye croute


  • 8cm cutter
  • Smoking gun
  • High-power blender
  • Dehydrator
  • Vacuum bag and machine


To begin, make the pepper and chilli ferment, as this will take several days. Blitz the peppers to a pulp, then weigh. Calculate 2% of this weight and add that amount of salt. Repeat this process with the chillies, again adding 2% of the weight in salt, then place in two separate vacuum bags and seal (alternatively, you can use sterilised jars). Once the bags inflate, open them then reseal (or open the jars every day to allow the gas to escape). After about a week pass both pulps through a muslin cloth, then mix them together. Stir through the xanthan gum and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve. This will make more than you need but it will keep in the fridge and is fantastic for seasoning a range of dishes
For the onion crumble, preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Caramelise the shallots in a pan over a medium-high heat with a dash of oil until brown, then transfer to the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then break the petals apart and transfer to a dehydrator. Dehydrate until dry, then blitz to a rough powder and season with salt. Store in an airtight container until ready to plate
  • 10 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 1 dash of vegetable oil
  • salt
To make the pickled onions, add the water, vinegar and sugar to a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved, then set aside to cool. Meanwhile, peel and slice the onions very finely and discard the inner layers. Sprinkle the onions with salt and leave for 20 minutes, then wash and pat dry. Add the onions to the pickling liquor, then transfer to a sterilised jar and leave for at least 2 hours
For the wild garlic mayonnaise, make a wild garlic oil. Pulse the wild garlic leaves in a food processor until roughly chopped, then place in a cloth and squeeze out as much water as possible. Blitz the leaves with the oil for 3 minutes until thoroughly combined, then pass the oil through muslin over a bowl in the fridge
Add all the other ingredients for the wild garlic oil to a blender and blitz until smooth. With the motor still running, slowly pour in the wild garlic oil until emulsified. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve
To make the rye croutes, preheat an oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Place the bone marrow in an ovenproof saucepan and cook in the oven until the marrow has rendered. Strain the rendered marrow into another pan with the thyme and garlic. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, then strain
Cut out 8cm rounds from each slice of rye bread then brush both sides liberally with the bone marrow and herb fat. Place in the oven for 8–10 minutes until crisp, then remove and place on a rack to cool
  • 10 slices of dark rye bread, sliced very thinly using a meat slicer or a very sharp knife
When the venison is semi-frozen, cut into a 0.5cm dice (semi-freezing the meat will make this easier). Allow to fully thaw, then place in a covered container and smoke with a smoking gun filled with oak wood chips. Blow smoke into the container until the chips are fully burnt, then close the lid and leave for a few minutes to infuse
When ready to serve, season the venison with the pepper and chilli ferment, salt and lemon juice. Stir through some of the pickled shallots and chopped wild garlic leaves until you’re happy with the flavour. Finally, add the egg yolks to bind the mixture
To plate, place a rye croute on the base of each plate. Top with the venison mixture, using an 8cm cutter to create a neat cylinder, then pipe or spoon a small amount of wild garlic mayonnaise on top. Scatter the onion crumble over the top, then finish with wood sorrel leaves

In the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, Tommy Banks utilises his family's farm to create complex, contemporary dishes that perfectly represent the local area.

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