Venison with Kampot pepper sauce and celeriac and horseradish purée

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This advanced venison dish from Lorna McNee begins with a venison farce, which is then rolled into a ballotine and steamed in a steam oven. The farce is served with a fragrant Kampot pepper sauce and poached quince, as well as a pickled walnut gel and two separate herb oils.

First published in 2024




Spiced quince

Venison farce

Celeriac and horseradish purée

Pickled walnut gel

Chive oil

Parsley oil

Kampot pepper sauce


  • Steam oven
  • Twine
  • Thermomix or blender
  • Muslin cloth
  • Cold-smoker



To make the spiced quince, first toast the peppercorns and cinnamon in a dry pan


Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 1 hour


Add the whole peeled quinces to the pot and poach slowly until tender under a cartouche


Once cooked, set aside to cool and then refrigerate overnight in the syrup 


The next day, use a small Parisienne scoop (melon baller) to make small quince balls and reserve in the liquor


Sweat off the onions and garlic for the farce with salt in a high-sided saucepan


Add in the brandy, then remove from the heat and very carefully flambé and reduce to a syrup. Make sure to use a long lighter when flambéing, and have a pan lid nearby to cover the pan if the flames are getting too high. Decant the alcohol out into a ladle first rather than pouring straight from the bottle – and make sure not to flambé underneath a hood on the stove!


Add in the Madeira, flambé again and reduce to a syrup

  • 125g of Madeira

Add in the port and reduce to almost nothing then place in the fridge to cool


Cold smoke the pork fat for 30 minutes in a Bradley smoker

  • 250g of pork fat

Season the livers well with flaky salt and sear hard in a pan. Put in fridge to cool


Mince the venison, smoked pork fat and cold livers


Place in a bowl and mix in the onions, pork mince and the eggs


Roll into a ballotine, then steam at 62°C for 20 minutes. Chill and then slice into rounds, ready to be caramelised before serving


Bring the milk to a simmer with the celeriac, and cook until the celeriac is soft

  • 500ml of whole milk
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and diced

Pass off the celeriac and then blend in the Thermomix or high-powered blender


Add butter, horseradish and lemon juice to the Thermomix whilst blending. Add some of the milk if needed to create a glossy purée


Put all the ingredients for the walnut gel into the Thermomix and blend until it reaches 100°C. Alternatively, bring the mixture to 100°C in a pan and then blend until smooth


Pour into a container and leave until set


Once set, blend until it forms a fluid gel then pass until smooth 


For the chive oil, blend all the ingredients together in the Thermomix at 70°C for 7 minutes. Alternatively, blend in a high-speed blender until smooth


Pass through muslin and reserve the oil, discarding the solids


For the parsley oil, blend all the ingredients together in the Thermos at 70°C for 7 minutes. Alternatively, blend in a high-speed blender until smooth


Pass through muslin and reserve the oil, discarding the solids


To make the Kampot pepper sauce, put a heavy-based pan on a medium-high heat and add a dash of vegetable oil


Sear the venison trimmings in the pan with some salt


Once you begin to see the venison caramelise in the pan, add the vegetables and cook until they just begin to colour


Deglaze the pan with brandy and skim. Reduce the brandy to a syrup


Add the red wine and skim. Reduce this by half


Add in the veal stock and bring up to a simmer

  • 250g of reduced veal stock

Add in 10 of the kampot peppercorns and let infuse, then pass the sauce through muslin


To plate, first preheat the oven to 180°C


Sear the venison loin in an ovenproof pan on all sides for around 2 minutes and then add a good amount of butter. Spoon the foaming butter over the loom for a further minute


Add garlic, thyme and rosemary to the pan to taste and then transfer to the oven for 2 minutes. Rest for 6 minutes, then carve pink


Put a dot of the celeriac puree on the bottom of the plate. Top this with a small amount of the pickled walnut gel and six balls of poached quince


Caramelise the venison farce and roast a piece of foie gras in a pan and place on top, alongside some wilted swiss chard leaf and celeriac celeriac purée


Drizzle some chive oil and some parsley oil over the top of the Swiss chard


Warm up the Kampot pepper sauce and finish with finely chopped parsley and remaining crushed Kampot pepper


Add the venison loin to the plate and pour the Kampot pepper sauce over the top

A protégé of the late Andrew Fairlie and now one of the chefs at the forefront of Scotland’s fine dining scene, Lorna McNee’s refined style of cookery is all about celebrating her country’s incredible natural larder through carefully constructed dishes. This has seen her become the only female chef in Scotland to currently hold a Michelin star.

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