Hay smoked roe deer with red fruits, vegetables and leaves

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Paul Welburn's stunning smoked roe deer recipe is the ideal way to usher in autumn, with a medley of venison, blackberry and beetroot showing off the intense colours and rich flavours of the season.

First published in 2015




Smoked roe deer

Red cabbage gel and powder

  • 1 red cabbage, juiced to yield 500g juice (pulp reserved for the red cabbage powder)
  • 6g of gellan gum
  • 50ml of red wine vinegar
  • 50ml of apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice


Baby beetroots

Macerated blackberries

Pickled beetroots



  • Dehydrator
  • Blender


To make the red cabbage gel, bring all of the ingredients to the boil in a medium-sized saucepan and allow to set on a tray in the fridge. Once set, blend the jelly into a liquid gel, season and set aside until ready to plate
  • 1 red cabbage, juiced to yield 500g juice (pulp reserved for the red cabbage powder)
  • 6g of gellan gum
  • 50ml of red wine vinegar
  • 50ml of apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
Spread the pulp reserved from juicing the red cabbage onto a mat in a dehydrator. Leave to dehydrate overnight until crisp, then blitz to form a powder for garnishing
Trim the deer loin of any sinew. Place 2 handfuls of dried hay in a deep tray and light with a match. Once burnt out, place the loin on top, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for minimum of 2 hours
Preheat the water bath to 57°C
Remove the deer from the fridge and roll the loin in the burnt hay powder. Roll tightly in cling film and cook in the water bath for 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the water bath and remove the cling film
To make the sauce, caramelise the shallots in the oil in a medium-sized saucepan. When golden, add the pepper, juniper and herbs, then deglaze with the vinegar. Reduce until the pan is almost dry, then add the port and reduce by a third
Add the wine, reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with cling film and leave to infuse for a further 20 minutes
  • 500ml of red wine
  • 1.5l brown chicken stock
After this time, pass through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Return to the heat and reduce until a sauce consistency is achieved. Season to taste and set aside
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Wash and trim the baby beetroot then season and wrap in a single layer of foil. Bake for 30–45 minutes until tender. Leave to cool slightly and peel
For the macerated blackberries, bring the water, sugar, port and thyme to the boil in a saucepan and pour over the blackberries. Reserve
For the pickled beetroot, peel the beetroot and slice to a thickness of 2mm. Bring the pickling ingredients to the boil, then remove from the heat and chill. Pour the liquid over the beetroot and place in the fridge to pickle
Now prepare the salsify. Add the port, red wine and chicken stock to a saucepan and place over a medium heat with a pinch of thyme. Peel the salsify and poach in the liquid until tender. Remove the salsify and reduce the liquor by half to create the glaze. When ready to serve, pour the glaze over the salsify
Just before serving, heat a frying pan over a high heat with the butter and a dash of oil. Once hot, sear the loin on all sides until caramelised
Finish the sauce with the a dash of liquor from the blackberries just before serving and heat
To plate, slice the deer and give 3 slices per plate. Arrange the beetroot, salsify and pickled beetroot around the deer. Pipe dots of the cabbage gel and arrange pickled blackberries around the plate. Sprinkle the cabbage powder over the top and garnish with the beetroot leaves and puffed brown rice. Serve the warmed sauce on the side
First published in 2015

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

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