Venison Salad

with fig purée and wild mushrooms

In Britain today the deer population is huge, over 1.5 million, made up of a number of species, including roe, red, fallow, sika, muntjac and chinese water. In terms of meat quality, the relevant factors are the age of the animal and the length of time it has been hung.

For the Venison
  • 4 venison fillets or 240g saddle of venison
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 70g unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 120g mixed wild mushrooms
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • 60g mixed salad leaves
For the Fig Purée
  • 300g whole ripe black figs
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • A pinch of Chinese five spice
  • 30ml port
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To cook the Figs

Cut the figs in half and scoop out the flesh. heat the butter until it foams, then add the five spice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fig flesh and port, and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender, blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve. Finish with butter, season. Place in a plastic bottle or container and keep warm.

To cook the Venison

Season the venison. Heat 20g of butter with a little oil in a heavy based pan. Then add the venison and cook, colouring it on all sides. Once cooked (about 10 minutes), remove from the pan and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

To Serve

Melt 20g of butter in the pan, add the shallots and cook for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, then place a lid on top and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Add the fig purée. Whisk in the remaining butter, and finish with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.