Venison makes a wonderful meat to serve up at a dinner party thanks to its rich flavour – try this recipe with cranberry, sour cherry and herb stuffing for a change to your usual dish.
- For the stuffing:
- knob of butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 50g fresh cranberries
- 75g pancetta cubetti
- 450g free-range pork sausage meat
- 1 free-range egg yolk
- 2tbsp breadcrumbs
- 2tbsp Madeira or sweet sherry
- 30g each dried cranberries and cherries
- 1tbsp each chopped fresh sage and thyme
- For the venison:
- venison roasting joint, around 1.5kg
- 50g garlic butter (we used Lurpak)
- For the gravy:
- 250g shallots, sliced
- 50g butter, plus a little extra
- sprig of rosemary
- 5tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 500ml red wine
- 500ml beef stock
First, prepare the stuffing. Melt the butter in a small pan and cook the onion until soft. Add the cranberries and stir until they pop and are soft. Set aside to cool, then mix together with all the other stuffing ingredients. Either form into balls or pack into a small loaf tin and chill while you prep the venison.
Smear half the garlic butter over the venison joint and season well.
Heat the oven to 190C, gas 5. Put the venison into a roasting tin, season and roast for 30 minutes per kilo together with the stuffing, then leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving. The internal temperature should be 55C for rare and 58C for medium rare. Spoon over the butter and serve with red wine gravy. Note: if you have made the stuffing into small balls they will only take 15 minutes to cook, otherwise, allow 30 minutes.
For the gravy, slowly cook the shallots in the butter until soft, then add the rosemary and vinegar and bubble until you have around 2tbsp vinegar left. Add the wine and bubble until it has reduced by half, then add the stock and again let it reduce to about half. Season, then strain through a sieve before serving.