Deeply savoury venison and creamy mash is a wintertime favourite, but this dish takes it to the next level.
Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 8.
For the beetroot, heat the olive oil in a small baking tray in the oven. When very hot, add the beetroot and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil before returning the tray to the top shelf of the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, or until soft.
Remove the beetroot and allow to cool slightly. Peel off the skins under cold running water.
Place the beetroot in a bowl with the garlic, caster sugar and lemon. Blend with a hand-held blender until very smooth, and season, to taste. Set aside in a small pan until needed.
For the leek and potato mash, cut the white part of the leek into 8cm/3in pieces and halve lengthways. Place in a pan with the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until soft. When cool, blend to a purée in a food processor. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, cover the chopped potatoes with salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes until soft.
Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and add the butter. Mash until smooth, then beat in the milk. When smooth, add the leek purée and season, to taste. Set aside in a pan until needed.
For the pears, cut off the base of the pear, so it can stand up by itself, and place upright in a saucepan. Add the wine, vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, star anise, honey and redcurrant jelly and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pear from the cooking liquid and set aside.
Place the pan onto a medium heat then reduce until the poaching liquid is a syrupy consistency. Set aside.
Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180C/350F.
For the haggis & venison bonbons, mix the chopped venison and haggis together. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roll into small balls, no more than 2cm/1in.
Roll the balls in the flour, and then dip into a bowl of beaten egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a plate.
Peel the parsnip into very thin strips. Season with salt and pepper.
Carefully lower the bonbons into the hot oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute to ensure the bonbons are covered with the oil. When golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Add the parsnip strips to the oil and cook until golden brown. Remove and drain on the kitchen towel.
For the venison, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When smoking, place the venison loin steaks in the pan and brown evenly on all sides. Add a knob of butter and baste.
Cook for a further two minutes then turn over. Cook for two more minutes, adding another knob of butter to keep the meat moist. Remove from the heat and rest for five minutes.
To serve, reheat the leek and potato mash, the beetroot purée and the sauce.
Cut the poached pears in half lengthways and remove the core. Place flat side down onto the plate.
Spoon the mash into a chefs’ ring on the centre of the plate. Carefully remove the ring, and place the venison against the mash. Add a quenelle of beetroot purée and two venison and haggis bonbons. Pour the pear poaching liquid over the venison and garnish with parsnip crisps.
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