Fallow venison, salt-baked celeriac and chocolate tortellini

  • Main
  • medium
  • Serves4
  • 2 hours 40 minutes


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Venison sauce

Salt-baked celeriac

Spiced lentils

Celeriac purée

To plate

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Begin by making the pasta dough. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water, egg, egg yolks and oil. Gradually mix the flour and wet ingredients together until it forms into a ball
Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
Meanwhile, make the venison sauce. Place the venison bones on a large baking tray and roast for 25–30 minutes until golden brown
While the bones are roasting, heat the oil in a medium saucepan and fry the carrot, leek, onion, celery and garlic until golden. Add the juniper, star anise, port and red wine and simmer until reduced by half
Add the roasted bones to the vegetable saucepan along with the veal and chicken stocks. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Return to the heat and continue to simmer for 10–15 minutes until reduced to a sauce-like consistency
Season the reduced sauce with the passion fruit juice, lime juice and chocolate to taste. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
For the salted celeriac, mix the salt and egg whites in a large bowl until a thick paste forms. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and create a base by spreading a little of the salt paste in the middle. Place the celeriac onto the base and cover with the remaining salt mixture
Bake the celeriac for 30–40 minutes or until tender and soften in the centre when pierced with a skewer
Meanwhile, cook the lentils in boiling salted water for 30–35 minutes or until tender, then drain and set aside
To make the purée, add the peeled and chopped celeriac to a medium pan and pour in enough milk to just cover. Bring up to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender and cooked through
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into small even sized chunks
  • milk
Meanwhile, shape the tortellini. Roll out the rested dough on the thinnest setting of a pasta machine into a large sheet. Cover a large area of work surface with a layer of cling film and place the pasta sheet on top
Using a 4cm cutter, cut out discs of pasta dough and place a chocolate chip in the centre of each one. Using a little flour for dusting, fold the pasta into a semi circle shape and press the layers together to seal
Gently press the centre of each pasta disc, bending the edges around to join one another to form a tortellini shape. Repeat this process with the remaining pasta, dusting each piece of tortellini with flour to prevent it from drying out
Remove the baked celeriac from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Crack open the salt crust and remove the celeriac, slicing it evenly in half. Using an apple corer, cut out cylinders of celeriac and slice these into 1 inch pieces
To finish the lentils, sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in a medium saucepan for 2–3 minutes or until tender. Add the cumin, sweet chilli sauce, soya sauce, balsamic and tomato ketchup and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir through the cooked lentils and keep warm until ready to serve
Once cooked, pass the poached celeriac through a fine sieve – reserving the milk – and transfer to a blender. Blitz until smooth, loosening the consistency with a little of the milk if required, then season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste and keep warm until ready to serve
To cook the venison, heat the oil a large frying pan and, once hot, carefully add place the loins in the pan to sear for 2 minutes. Turn over and sear for 2 further minutes, then add the rosemary, juniper berries and butter to the pan
Reduce the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes, turning from time to time. Once cooked, transfer the venison to a carving board, cover with foil and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta for 1–2 minutes, or until the tortellini floats to the top, then remove with a slotted spoon
Place the salt-baked celeriac on a metal tray and blowtorch until caramelised all over. Meanwhile, wilt the spinach and samphire in a small frying pan and season with salt and pepper. Check the seasoning on the venison sauce, reheating if required
To serve, spoon portions of the celeriac purée and the spiced lentils onto the middle of each plate and top with the wilted spinach. Slice each venison loin in half and place on top of the spinach, scattering pieces of caramelised celeriac and tortellini around the plate. Finish with a drizzle of the venison sauce and a garnish of samphire
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