© David Loftus
pan-seared venison loin with blueberries, shallots and red wine
Bash up the thyme and juniper berries with a mortar and pestle with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. If you haven’t got a mortar and pestle, use the end of a rolling pin and a metal bowl. Loosen with 3 good glugs of olive oil. Pat the venison dry with some paper towels, and rub the oil mixture all over it. Sear the meat in a hot pan on all sides, turn- ing it every minute — roughly 6 minutes for medium rare, 7—8 minutes for medium, and you’d have to be a nutter if you wanted to cook it for any longer than that! Depending on the thickness of the meat and the heat of the pan, it may need a little less or more time to cook — so don’t look at the clock, look at the meat. This is the time when you want to try to be instinctive with your meat. Remove it from the pan when it’s cooked to your liking and allow it to rest on a plate for 4 minutes, covered with foil.
• 1 small handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked