Venison loin with truffle gnocchi, braised cabbage and salsify

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Ruth Hansom combines the autumnal flavours of venison, truffle, celeriac, salsify, black garlic and red cabbage to create this stunning fine dining dish. The recipe may seem a little daunting but every element can be made in advance, so preparation is key.

First published in 2021




Venison loin

Venison sauce


  • 300g of floury potatoes, Ruth uses Red Rooster, baked until soft and the flesh scooped out and passed through a fine sieve
  • 1 egg
  • 100g of 00 flour
  • 2g of salt
  • 3g of truffle paste
  • 20g of nutritional yeast

Red cabbage and apple roll

Celeriac purée

Black garlic purée


To serve


  • Blender
  • Japanese turning slicer
  • Steamer
  • Vacuum bag and machine



Begin by making the sauce as it takes 2-3 hours to reduce. Break down the venison trimmings and/or bones you're using into small pieces, around 4cm. Place a large stockpot over a high heat and add the oil. Add the bones and trimmings and caramelise for 5 minutes. Then add the vegetables, garlic, thyme, peppercorns and juniper berries and continue to caramelise for a further 10 minutes


When everything is well coloured, deglaze with the red wine and leave to simmer and reduce by half. Add the chicken and veal stocks and simmer for 2–3 hours over a low heat. When you're happy with the consistency and flavour, pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Cover and set aside to reheat before serving


To make the cabbage roll, slice the red cabbage finely and place in a pan with 80ml of the port, the apple juice, salt, pepper and bag of spices. Cover and cook over a low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes


After this time, remove the lid and add the butter. Allow the liquid to reduce and become glossy, then chill


Take the apple and use a turning mandoline to make apple sheets. Cut these sheets into neat 10cm long strips, then place in a vacuum bag with the remaining 20ml of port and compress. Set aside


To make the gnocchi, mix all the ingredients together to form a dough, then roll out the mixture between 2 sheets of baking paper until 2cm thick. Place this sheet of dough in a steamer tray and steam for 9 minutes. Use a 5cm round cutter to stamp out 8 discs. Use a smaller 3cm round cutter to stamp out smaller discs in the centre of each circle, then reserve both the rings and the circles

  • 300g of floury potatoes, Ruth uses Red Rooster, baked until soft and the flesh scooped out and passed through a fine sieve
  • 1 egg
  • 100g of 00 flour
  • 2g of salt
  • 3g of truffle paste
  • 20g of nutritional yeast

To make the celeriac puree, peel and dice the celeriac and steam or boil until just soft. Transfer to a blender with the salt and butter, blitz until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve into a small saucepan ready to reheat later


To make the black garlic purée, place the garlic in a pan with the chicken stock. Cover and simmer until the cloves have completely softened, then transfer the cloves to a blender and blitz, adding the chicken stock in as needed to create a smooth purée. Taste and season then transfer to a piping bag or squeezy bottle


Peel the salsify and place in a bowl of water acidulated with a little lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown. Once all the salsify is peeled, drain and immediately transfer to a vacuum bag with the butter, salt and thyme. Seal then steam for around 12 minutes until just soft, then chill. Cut the salsify on the angle into 4cm batons, then set aside


Once all the elements have been prepared, cook the venison loin. Preheat an oven to 100ºC/gas mark ¼. Heat a frying pan with the oil and season the venison loin. Once the pan is smoking hot, add the venison and brown on all sides. Add the butter, thyme and garlic and baste for a minute or 2, then place in the oven for 3–4 minutes. The temperature should read 40ºC in the centre for a rare finish. Leave in a warm place to rest for 10 minutes before carving


Whilst the venison cooks and rests, finish the cabbage. Remove the apple sheets from the vacuum bags and spread out 30g of the red cabbage mixture on each sheet. Carefully roll up tightly and place on an oven tray. Reheat in the oven with the venison for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, gently reheat the celeriac purée and the sauce, whisking the cold butter into the sauce to make it thick and glossy


Place 2 large frying pans over a medium heat and add a large knob of butter to each. Fry the salsify in one pan and the gnocchi in the other, turning to ensure you get a nice golden colour all over. Remove the larger rings of gnocchi when they turn golden brown, but continue to cook the smaller circles of gnocchi until they turn darker


To plate, carve the venison into slices and add 3 slices to each plate. Add a spoon of reheated celeriac puree, a piece of salsify and a cabbage roll. Top the roll with piped dots of black garlic purée and crème fraiche, small matchsticks of fresh apple and chervil leaves. Place a gnocchi ring alongside, nestling the darker gnocchi circle into the centre. Finish with some red vein sorrel and the venison sauce

Growing her own vegetables from the age of thirteen, Ruth Hansom has spent years developing her own ultra-seasonal style of cookery and has won numerous awards along the way.

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