Venison, chestnut puree, winter veg & pears

by Tony Rodd

The classic Christmas dinner gets a Scandinavian twist

This is a lovely alternative to turkey or goose at Christmas.


1 small onion, diced
500g venison haunch, diced
150ml red wine
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
200ml chicken stock

For the yorkshire puddings:
15g gluten-free self-raising flour
45g cornflour
2 eggs
80ml milk

For the chestnut puree:
100g cooked chestnuts
50g double cream

For the braised cabbage:
¼ red cabbage, sliced
50ml red wine vinegar
1 tbsp golden caster sugar

1 conference pear
1 tbsp honey
4 medium-sized red potatoes
1 jar of goose or duck fat
1 pack of redcurrants
500g venison loin
1 garlic clove
1 sprig of thyme
2 juniper berries


To make the braised venison, start by softening the onion in a pan with a little oil. Turn up the heat and add the diced venison haunch and a pinch of salt and pepper and brown. Add the red wine and reduce by half, adding the herbs and stock and reducing to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 30 mins or place in an oven, covered, at 150C for 1 hour. Carefully pick apart the meat and strain the liquid into a clean pan. Add the meat back to the sauce and keep warm until needed.

To make the yorkshire puddings, put the flour, cornflour and ¼ tsp salt (or to taste) into a large bowl or jug and stir together. Beat in the eggs until really well combined and mix together the milk and 5ml water. Beat in the milk and water a bit at a time until you have a nice, loose batter. Cover and refrigerate until needed. It’s best to leave overnight if possible.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 220C and put your chosen tins in to heat, with 1 tsp rapeseed oil in each tray mould. Spread the batter between the moulds and cook for 20 mins, or until fully puffed up and cooked. Spoon some of the pulled meat into the yorkshire pudding and place on a baking tray to be warmed through in the oven when needed.

To make the chestnut puree, warm the chestnuts and cream in a pan until simmering and allow to cook for 5 mins. Blend using a stick blender and keep warm.

For the red cabbage, slowly braise the cabbage with the vinegar and sugar over a medium heat, until the liquid has disappeared and the cabbage is soft and glossy.

Quarter the pear, removing the core, and place on a lined baking tray and drizzle with the honey. Cook in an oven at 180C for 15 mins.

For the fondant potatoes, cut a disc of potato and place in a saucepan with the duck fat and cook over a low heat for 1 hour. Carefully remove from the fat and place on the tray with the pears to cook in the oven when needed.

Finally, sear the venison loin in a pan with the garlic, thyme, juniper berries and some oil, until brown on all sides. Place in the oven with your potatoes and pears and cook for 15 mins, or until the centre reaches 55C with a meat thermometer.

To serve, place a spoonful of the chestnut puree in the centre of the plate and swipe across with a spatula or spoon. Cut a 2cm slice of the loin and lay on top of the puree. Place the braised haunch-filled yorkshire pudding on the plate and a few slices of pear on top. The potato can be put next to the yorkshire pudding and finish with some redcurrants and a spoon of the juices from the braised meat.

Recipe: Tony Rodd