Pan-seared venison with blueberries, shallots & red wine

Pan Seared Venison

Serves 4

  • 1 small handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • 5 dried juniper berries

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 800 g quality venison loin, trimmed

  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 glass red wine

  • 200 g fresh blueberries

  • 2 large knobs butter

Bash up the thyme and juniper berries in a pestle and mortar with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. If you haven't got a pestle and mortar, use the end of a rolling pin and a metal bowl. Loosen with 2 good lugs of olive oil. Pat the venison dry with some kitchen paper, and rub the oil mixture all over it. Sear the meat in a hot pan on all sides – 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 tinfoil.



Reduce the heat under the pan and add a good lug of oil. Add the shallots and the garlic and fry gently for around 3 minutes until translucent and tender. Turn up the heat again, add the wine, and let it reduce by half. Add the blueberries and simmer slowly for 4 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and jiggle and shake the pan around so the sauce goes slightly opaque and shiny. Season to taste.



Slice the venison into 2cm/¾ inch slices and serve with steamed purple sprouting broccoli or some other good greens. Add the meat's resting juices to the sauce and spoon over the venison. Absolutely fantastic.

Nutritional Information

Pan-seared venison with blueberries, shallots & red wine

With a herby juniper rub

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A venison steak can be just as juicy as a cut of beef, and is perfect with sweet berry flavours
Serves 4
25m
Super easy
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Method

It's not often that I cook a nice bit of venison, but it's definitely worth a try. I think you'll be surprised how much you'll like it – the meat tastes like a well-hung steak and can be very juicy. It goes so well with the fruit in this dish, and is great served with some steamed purple sprouting broccoli. Mashed potato, parsnip or celeriac go well with this too.

Bash up the thyme and juniper berries in a pestle and mortar with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. If you haven't got a pestle and mortar, use the end of a rolling pin and a metal bowl. Loosen with 2 good lugs of olive oil. Pat the venison dry with some kitchen paper, and rub the oil mixture all over it. Sear the meat in a hot pan on all sides – 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 tinfoil.

Reduce the heat under the pan and add a good lug of oil. Add the shallots and the garlic and fry gently for around 3 minutes until translucent and tender. Turn up the heat again, add the wine, and let it reduce by half. Add the blueberries and simmer slowly for 4 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and jiggle and shake the pan around so the sauce goes slightly opaque and shiny. Season to taste.

Slice the venison into 2cm/¾ inch slices and serve with steamed purple sprouting broccoli or some other good greens. Add the meat's resting juices to the sauce and spoon over the venison. Absolutely fantastic.

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Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 497
    25%
  • Carbs 7.5g
    3%
  • Sugar 5.9g 7%
  • Fat 26.7g 38%
  • Saturates 9.0g 45%
  • Protein 45.5g 101%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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  • 1 small handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • 5 dried juniper berries

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 800 g quality venison loin, trimmed

  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 glass red wine

  • 200 g fresh blueberries

  • 2 large knobs butter