Roast venison loin with root vegetables and pickling sauce, venison meatballs

Venison, double marinated in spices, with sweet young root veg, spicy meatballs and a hot chilli sauce.


For the venison
For the second marinade
For the venison meatballs
For the root vegetables
For the sauce
  • 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt

  • 2 tbsp polenta

  • 250ml/9fl oz lamb stock or water

  • 3 tbsp oil, preferably mustard oil

  • 1 tsp panch phoran (Indian spice mix, available to buy ready-made, typically 1 part mustard seeds, 1 part black onion seeds, 1 part cumin seeds, ½ part fenugreek seeds, 2 parts fennel seeds)

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric

  • 4 green chillies, slit lengthways

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tbsp jaggery or molasses sugar

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6

  2. For the venison, rub the olive oil, salt and chilli powder over the steaks and set aside, covered, for 30 minutes.

  3. Mix together the ingredients for second marinade in a bowl and set aside.

  4. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan, add the meat and fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until browned all over. Transfer to a roasting tray, spread the second marinade over the top of the meat and roast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, if you like your meat pink. Cook for an additional few minutes if you like it cooked medium to well done.

  5. Remove from the oven and leave the meat to rest for 6-8 minutes in a warm place.

  6. Meanwhile, for the meatballs, combine all the ingredients together and pass them through a mincer or grind them in a food processor to a smooth paste.

  7. Divide into 12 balls, the fry in the venison frying pan for about two minutes over a high heat and remove them from the pan. (You may need to do this in batches.)

  8. For the root vegetables, heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the whole spices until they crackle and pop.

  9. Add the root vegetables and fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add salt, sugar and vinegar and mix together, transfer to a pre-heated baking tray and roast for 6-8 minutes in the oven.

  10. For the sauce, mix together the yoghurt, cornmeal and half the stock to a smooth paste and pass through a fine sieve to get rid of any lumps.

  11. Next, heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and add the panch phoran. When the spices begin to crackle, add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown.

  12. Add the turmeric, stir for 30 seconds then whisk in the yoghurt and cornmeal mixture and stir for another 2-3 minutes, taking care that the yoghurt does not split.

  13. Add the other half of the stock, green chillies, and salt, and simmer for about 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens and gets a glaze. Stir in the jaggery and chopped coriander .

  14. To serve, divide the sauce between four serving plates and place the venison steaks on top. You can serve the meat sliced or as steaks, whatever you prefer. Place the root vegetables and meatballs around the meat and serve hot.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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