Whilst we are still in prime venison season, I thought I would share a delicious warming recipe which would be perfect for a date night at home.
Venison has such a deep, rich flavour and pairs well with earthy vegetables such as mushrooms.
To bring another dimension to this dish, I’ve used Blackthorn sea salt. It is made using 100% pure west coast seawater, which makes it really special.
You can taste the sea, the wind and the blackthorn branches that are used to create this pure Scottish sea salt. It adds a beautiful freshness to any dish, making it a must–have for the store cupboard.
For a hit of sweetness, you don’t get better than doughnuts, and this recipe combines zesty orange with the warmth of treacle and the spice of cinnamon and nutmeg.
I’ve paired them with a rich and creamy cardamom custard, for the ultimate indulgence.
Blackthorn sea salt and pepper venison with wild mushrooms, roasted walnuts and parsnip purée
- 500g parsnips (peeled and cubed)
- Few sprigs of thyme
- Few pinches of Blackthorn sea salt
- 85ml double cream
- 150g shallots (cut in half lengthways with skins on)
- 100g baby carrots (stalks on)
- Few drizzles of rapeseed oil
- Few pinches of cracked black pepper
- 300g of loin of venison
- 2 knobs of butter
- 120g of shiitake mushrooms (or try a different variety mushroom)
- 1 clove of garlic
- Splash of red wine
- 15g walnuts (broken up)
- First make the parsnip purée. Take the chopped parsnip and place into a saucepan with a sprig of thyme and pinch of Blackthorn sea salt, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Drain the water and remove the thyme stalk. Put the cooked parsnips into a blender and blend.
- Slowly pour in the double cream and continue to blend until the purée is a nice, smooth texture. Place in a small pan ready to heat through prior to serving.
- On a baking tray, place the shallots, carrots and a sprig of thyme, and drizzle with rapeseed oil. Cover the tray with tinfoil. Put into a preheated oven at 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7 for 25 mins to roast.
- Remove the foil and thyme, then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
- Once lovely and golden, take out of the oven and peel the skin off shallots. Set to one side.
- On a board, sprinkle Blackthorn sea salt and cracked black pepper, then place the venison loin onto the board and roll it into the salt and pepper rub, ensuring it’s evenly covered.
- Take an ovenproof frying pan, pour in a drizzle of rapeseed oil and heat until it is piping hot. Place the venison loin into the pan, leave for one minute, then turn it over. Keep turning it until you have a nice golden colour all the way round the loin.
- Place a sprig of thyme into the pan and add a knob of butter. Put the pan into a preheated oven at 220C/200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7 for eight minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for two minutes.
- While the venison rests, cut the mushrooms into quarters, and remove the skin from the garlic clove and bash with the back of a knife to soften it. In a frying pan, heat a splash of rapeseed oil, put in the mushrooms, a pinch of Blackthorn sea salt, the garlic clove and spring of thyme. Add a splash of red wine and the broken walnuts. Cook for two minutes, then add a knob of butter before taking off the heat.
- Warm through the parsnip purée, ready for serving. Carve the venison into slices, place onto a warm plate, along with the parsnip purée. Pour over the mushroom and walnut mixture from the frying pan. Garnish with a sprig of thyme.
Treacle and orange doughnuts with cardamom custard
Makes 8 large doughnuts
For the doughnut mix:
- 250g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 30g caster sugar
- 8g fresh yeast (try your local baker)
- 2 eggs
- 60g softened unsalted butter
- Zest of ½ orange
- 1 heaped tsp treacle
For the doughnut sugar coating:
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the cardamom custard:
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp custard powder
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 200ml double cream
- 200ml milk
- 6 cardamom pods
- First make the doughnuts. In a mixer, add the flour, salt, caster sugar and yeast.
- Pour in the two eggs and mix together. Once combined, add in the softened butter and mix through. Put in the zest of orange and treacle, give a final mix to achieve a ripple effect through the dough.
- Take a damp tea towel and place it over the mixing bowl, then place in a warm part of the kitchen to prove for around 45 minutes. Once proved, place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Whilst the doughnut mixture is resting, make
the sugar coating. Combine together the caster sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl and leave
to one side.
- Remove the doughnut mixture from the fridge. Flour the work surface, then take a handful of the chilled dough mixture and slightly flatten it down. Using a round baking cutter, cut out the doughnut shape, then take a small baking cutter to remove the middle and create a ring shape.
- Repeat to make eight large doughnuts. Or take smaller handfuls to make lots of mini doughnuts and use smaller cutters to make the ring shape.
- To cook, place the doughnuts into a preheated deep–fat fryer at 165˚C. Gently fry for 10-12 mins, slightly turning them in the fat until they are a nice deep, golden colour.
- Remove from the fryer and place on to kitchen paper. Whilst the doughnuts are still warm, roll them in the cinnamon and nutmeg sugar coating.
- For the cardamom custard, in a bowl, whisk together the cornflour, custard powder, sugar, double cream and milk. Crush the cardamom pods and put into the custard mix.
- Pour the custard mix into a heavy–based pan and place on the heat, bringing it slowly to simmer. Keep whisking until the custard thickens.
- Using a sieve, strain the custard to remove the cardamom pods.
Serve the doughnuts warm, along with cardamom custard and garnished with some orange zest.