Venison with greens & barley

by Neil Forbes

With St Andrew’s Day approaching we go north of the border for a taste of some of Scotland’s finest ingredients from one of the country’s great chefs Neil Forbes, a member of the Slow Food Chef Alliance


200g pearl barley, washed in a sieve
3 knobs of butter
450g piece of loin of venison, red or roe deer
Sea salt and black pepper
A trickle of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
A few hard herbs, like thyme
1 savoy cabbage, or your favourite seasonal greens


Drain the barley and place in a pot. Cover with water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 mins, or until just soft. Drain and add a knob of butter on top. Keep in a warm place.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan and season the venison with salt and pepper. Fry in a trickle of rapeseed oil with a wee knob of butter and some thyme. Baste as you go, cooking for 5-10 mins until golden brown all over, according to how rare you like your venison.

Allow the venison to rest for at least 5 mins before carving. Give it a quick flash under the grill to heat up again if necessary.

Cut the cabbage into strips and wilt it down in a pot with a knob of butter and salt and pepper. I like it quite crunchy.

To serve, carve the venison and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with the barley and drape the cabbage over and around the meat. Delicious and simple.

Recipe: Neil Forbes