Rack of venison with sage

A seasonal wonder for January. This recipe adds a new spin to unpromising swede and cabbage to make a roast dinner to impress.


For the swede fondants
For the rack of venison with sage
For the lightly-pickled green cabbage

Preparation method

  1. For the swede fondant, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  2. Peel and trim the swede, cut into 2.5cm/1in slices horizontally and using a 5cm/2in biscuit cutter, cut out four discs.

  3. Melt half the butter in a frying pan and add the oil, fry the swede discs on one side until golden-brown, then turn over. Add the chicken stock (it should come half way up the swede).

  4. Season with salt and pepper and put in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until the swede is tender. During cooking frequently brush with melted butter.

  5. When cooked, drain the swede and keep warm.

  6. For the rack of venison with sage, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  7. Trim the racks of venison and chop any trimmings into chunks. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and fry the trimmings until golden-brown.

  8. Add chopped vegetables and sage stalks. Fry until the vegetables have coloured, then add the chicken stock and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

  9. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a roasting tin and add the venison racks. Fry until golden-brown all over. Season with salt and pepper and put into the oven for five minutes.

  10. Turn down the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and add the butter and a few sage leaves. Roast for a further 8-10 minutes, basting frequently.

  11. Remove the venison from the roasting tin, season with salt and pepper and set aside to rest in a warm place.

  12. Carefully pour away any excess oil from the roasting tin. Add the red wine and juniper berries. Bring to a boil and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

  13. Add the liquid from the saucepan with the venison trimmings. Add the redcurrant jelly and bring to the boil. Simmer to reduce it in volume by two-thirds, then strain the sauce into a clean pan and keep warm.

  14. For the lightly-pickled green cabbage, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the shredded cabbage for two minutes. Immediately refresh in ice-cold water to keep the colour.

  15. Drain and dry the cabbage using kitchen paper.

  16. Heat the oil, add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir well, taking care not to burn them. Add the cabbage and quickly toss to coat. Pour in the vinegar and lightly cook the cabbage.

  17. Remove from the heat, strain and season with salt. Stir in the remaining butter and the parsley.

  18. Serve the cabbage with a disc of fondant swede and half a rack of venison. Pour the sauce around each plate.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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