Lakeland venison with ox tongue, fondant potato and pickled tayberries

  • Main
  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 30 minutes, plus 3 days pickling time and 4 hours cooking time for the ox tongue



First published in 2021
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Pickled tayberries

Ox tongue

Red wine sauce

Fondant potatoes

  • 3 large potatoes, or 6 smaller potatoes, peeled and trimmed into 6 large rectangular blocks
  • whey, or melted butter, to cover
  • salt

Venison loin

To serve


Begin by pickling the tayberries as they need 3 days to pickle. Place all the ingredients apart from the berries in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool completely then pour over the berries and place in the fridge to pickle for 3 days


To prepare the ox tongue, it first needs brining overnight. Scrub the tongue under cold water then place in a container. Place the salt in a pan with 300ml of the water and heat to dissolve the salt. Take off the heat then top up with the rest of the cold water (1.7L). Once completely cool, pour this over the tongue and leave to brine in the fridge overnight


The next day, drain the tongue and rinse under cold water. Place it in a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to the boil, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface. Add the vegetables, garlic and thyme, turn down the heat, cover and simmer for 3–4 hours until tender


While the tongue simmers away, make the sauce. Place the wine, shallots, garlic and thyme into a saucepan and reduce the wine by two-thirds to about 250ml. Pour in the game stock and reduce again until you have a lightly thickened sauce consistency. Pass through a fine sieve into a small pan, beat in the butter to give it a glossy finish, then season to taste. Set aside to reheat before serving


After 3-4 hours, drain the tongue from the water and leave to cool a little, then peel off the skin – you will need to do this whilst the tongue is still relatively hot as it becomes difficult once cooled. Dice around half of the peeled tongue into neat 1cm cubes, then set aside. The remaining tongue can be sliced for sandwiches or reserved in the freezer for another dish


To cook the potato fondants, place the blocks of potato in a pan and just cover with whey (or clarified/melted butter). If using whey, gently simmer until the liquid has reduced to nothing and been absorbed into the potatoes. If using butter, gently confit the potatoes until they're very soft. Drain, season and set aside

  • 3 large potatoes, or 6 smaller potatoes, peeled and trimmed into 6 large rectangular blocks
  • whey, or melted butter, to cover
  • salt

Now all the elements are prepared, you can cook the venison. Preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil and gently reheat the red wine sauce


Season the venison heavily with salt and pepper and place a large frying pan over a high heat. Once smoking, add a dash of oil followed by the venison and sear for 8 minutes, turning to achieve a nice browning on all sides. Leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes


While the venison cooks and rests, place a small frying pan over a medium heat and add a few knobs of butter. Once melted, add the girolles and sauté for a few minutes until cooked through. Season with salt


Blanch the cavolo nero in the salted boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain. Pan-fry the fondant potatoes in a little butter or oil until coloured on all sides. Add the diced tongue to the sauce to warm through


Once the venison has rested, carve into slices and start plating up. Add the potato with venison slices, cavolo nero and girolles to each plate. Finish with a few pickled tayberries and spoon over the sauce and ox tongue

First published in 2021
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