Venison – The Perfect Animal For Nose-To-Tail Eating

Posted on: 13 July 2009 by Gareth Hargreaves

Television chef Paul Bloxham aims to dispel the myths surrounding the cooking of venison as well as providing us with some mouth-watering recipes.

At this year’s CLA Game Fair, the world’s largest countryside event, TV chef Paul Bloxham will be helping to dispel the myth that cooking with venison is difficult. It’s dry, tough and apparently has an unpleasant flavour and aroma of smelly socks!

“Not so” says Paul, “Venison is the trendy, healthy alternative to beef and lamb and hugely versatile and increasingly, a very popular choice when people eat out.

“Whenever we have dishes on our menu at The Tilbury – they are always the first to go from the more traditional venison pies and casseroles to peppered steaks, smoked venison and venison tartare.

“I’d encourage everyone to have a go at cooking with venison.  It is widely available, affordable and as long as you follow a few basic tips you’ll produce a delicious dish.  It is a naturally lean meat so you have to be careful not to over cook and choose a method that complements the cut of meat; with effective butchery these can include the trendier cuts like cheeks and liver to the world revered sausage.  Smelly socks are a thing of the past too as the meat is now only hung for a short time!”

Below Paul has given 50connect three of his favourite recipes.

Venison, English Mustard & Feta Salad

Serves: 4


Feta Sauce -

  • 250 gms feta cheese, crumbled
  • 150 mls sour cream
  • 50 mls natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped dill leaves
  • Freshly milled pepper to taste

Venison -

  • 1 trimmed venison loin
  • 200 gms rice flour
  • 2 tbsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 250 mls yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • Rapeseed oil for cooking

Salad -

  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch baby carrots
  • 1 bunch baby fennel
  • Pea shoots and wild leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Rapeseed oil for dressing
  • Freshly milled salt and pepper

Method -

In a small bowl fold together the feta cheese, sour cream, yogurt, garlic and dill until combined and reserve.  Slice the venison loin into 1 cm slices.  In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, mustard powder, cayenne, salt and pepper.  In a separate dish, mix together the yogurt/buttermilk and wholegrain mustard.  Dredge the venison slices in the buttermilk mixture for a minute.  Then coat with the flour mix.  In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil.  Fry the venison until golden brown on both sides.  Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Finely slice the fennel and peel the baby carrots and tomatoes, dress with the oil, lime juice and seasoning to taste.  Serve with the venison, feta sauce and pea shoots and wild leaves.

Peppered Venison, Foraged Mushrooms & Heritage Apples

Serves: 4

Venison -

  • 1 venison loin trimmed
  • 100gms mixed dried peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper

Wild Mushrooms -

  • 3 potatoes, cooked and pureed
  • 100gms sliced Paris mushrooms
  • 100 gms wild mushrooms
  • 50 gms butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50 mls double cream

Heritage Apple Dressing -

  • 150 gms sugar
  • 100 mls cider vinegar
  • 1 heritage apple of choice, peeled and fined diced, trimmings reserved
  • 150 mls apple juice
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 300 mls chicken stock
  • 150 gms butter
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • Salt and pepper

Method -

Roll the venison loin into the peppercorn mix and season with salt.  Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan until hot.  Add the venison and sauté for 7 minutes turning and basting.  For the wild mushrooms, sauté the mushrooms in ½ of the butter until soft, add garlic, then season with salt and pepper.  Add the double cream and the remaining butter to the mushroom mixture and bring to a simmer.  Fold into the potato puree and season with salt and pepper.  Place into a piping bag and reserve. 
For the heritage dressing, heat a large pan over a high heat.  Add sugar to the pan and cook until the sugar browns lightly, add the cider vinegar, apple trimmings, apple juice, fresh thyme and stock.  Let the sauce simmer until it reduces to by ¾.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pass through a sieve and whisk in butter and lemon juice.  Just before serving add the chives and diced apple.  To serve pipe the mash into the centre of the serving plates, top each with slices of pink venison and finally dress with the apple sauce.  Enjoy!

Pate Campagne With Your Favourite Chutney

Home made pate is delicious and is very easy to make - especially if you ask your butcher to mince the meat for you.  Please note it needs to be made the day before eating.

Makes: 1 terrine


  • 500 gms trimmed venison (pork shoulder or rabbit or a mix)
  • 250 gms chicken livers
  • 275 gms fatty belly pork
  • 250 gms white bread, crusts removed
  • 250 mls milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 50 mls brandy and 50 mls gin
  • 250 gms thinly sliced pancetta or bacon

Herb & Spice mix -

  • Zest of ½ small orange
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 sp freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly crushed juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves

Method -

Preheat the oven to 160⁰C.  Grind the spice mix in a coffee grinder and reserve.  Dice the venison or meat  mix you desire, and trim the chicken livers, combine the meat with the spice mix and reserve.

Soak the bread with the milk until all the milk has soaked up.  Line a terrine that has a lid with oil first and then cling film with plenty of overhang, then lay the whole bay leaves along the bottom followed by the pancetta, overlapping slightly from end to end, also with a overhang.  Set up a mincer and mince the meat mixture and the bread twice through a small die, mix in the egg yolks, brandy and gin and finally pack in the lined terrine, fold over the pancetta and clingfilm and pop on the lid.

Cook in a bain marie in the oven for 2 hours or until the centre has reached 72⁰C on a probe thermometer.  Cool slightly then press overnight with some heavy weights or clean bricks in the fridge.  Slice and serve with toast points not forgetting a pot of your favourite chutney.

Paul BloxhamAbout Paul Bloxham

Paul Bloxham has appeared on numerous TV food programmes as TV chef and presenter from Market Kitchen, ITV1 Saturday Cooks and Sky One Taste as well as a popular mini series on ITV East Anglia News on regional produce. 

He is chef patron at the award winning Tilbury pub and dining rooms in Datchworth, Hertfordshire, renowned for its delicious seasonal dishes at good honest prices. 

Paul will be giving cookery demonstrations promoting wild food at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Belvoir Castle, Grantham, from 24- 26 July –

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