ely’s Winter Recipes: Chargrilled Venison with Red Cabbage

Venison is low-fat meat with lots of flavour and its full of protein. It makes a great seasonal alternative to fillet of beef.

what you need

  • 2 figs
  • 150ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp icing sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 100ml crème de cassis
  • 150g red cabbage
  • finely shredded
  • 50g dried prunes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • olive or sunflower oil
  • 2 x 180g pavés of venison loin
    Serves 2

what to do

Split the figs into 4. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little of the vinegar and lightly dust with icing sugar. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 50°C, or as low as your oven will go. Set aside and keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, place the brown sugar and crème de cassis in a pot and heat gently. In a bowl, combine the red cabbage with the remaining vinegar and leave to stand for 5-10 minutes. Add to the pot together with the prunes and cinnamon stick. Turn up the heat slightly. Stir well, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. When cooked, strain over another pot, reserving the liquid. Set the cabbage aside and cover with cling film to keep warm. Reduce the strained liquid over a gentle heat to make the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Oil the venison very lightly and sear on each side to get a chargrilled effect. Place on a roasting tray in the oven for 4-5 minutes for medium-rare. If you prefer, leave in the oven for longer. Remove the venison from the oven and slice neatly.
To serve, divide the cabbage between 2 serving plates, place the venison on top, coat with the sauce and arrange the figs as desired.

A wine that works Domaine Le Sang des Cailloux, a Vacqueyras from the southern Rhône is exceptional
value and competes nicely with the best of Châteauneuf-du-Papes. It has a Provençal nose of herbs and garrigue; black fruits, pepper and roasted herbs on the palate. Rich, rewarding and lovely with this dish. Also try Alvaro Palacios’s ‘Les Terrasses’ from Priorat in Spain.

a note for the cook

If you don’t have a griddle pan a heavy duty oven-proof pan will do. ‘Bleeding’ the cabbage (leaving it to steep in
the vinegar) prior to cooking helps preserve its vibrant colour.