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The Kilted Chef: A venison recipe to make the perfect centrepiece for an autumnal feast

Craig Wilson, The Kilted Chef, from Eat On The Green, Udny Green.
Craig Wilson, The Kilted Chef, from Eat On The Green, Udny Green.

Craig Wilson, also known as The Kilted Chef, loves to cook venison thanks to its amazing flavour. This recipe will make you fall in love with the meat.

Venison is a meat I love to cook with. Its deep colour and bold flavour makes it the perfect centrepiece for an autumn feast.

Sealing the meat in a pan, then oven roasting, will help keep it succulent and perfectly pink in the middle.

Today’s recipe has a creamy blue cheese topping and is teamed with spiced nuts, both of which complement the richness of the venison.

While the venison cooks away in the oven, head outdoors for a refreshing pre-dinner drink, with my warming apple and gin shots.

Rosemary and pancetta-wrapped venison, served with parsnip puree, warm spiced nuts and Strathdon Blue rarebit

(Serves 2) 

Rosemary and pancetta wrapped venison, parsnip puree with warm spiced nuts and Strathdon blue rarebit.


  • 2 x 150g Aberdeenshire Larder Wild Venison loin fillets
  • 4 rashers of pancetta
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

For the spiced nuts:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp soft, dark brown sugar
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 10ml Mackintosh of Glendaveny Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
  • 100g mixed nuts
  • 15g salted butter
  • A pinch of salt

For the rarebit topping:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp English mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 40g Strathdon Blue cheese
  • 5g flat leaf parsley

For the parsnip puree:

  • 500g parsnips
  • 125g milk
  • 125g double cream
  • 25g salted butter


  1. Start by making the parsnip puree: Peel the parsnips and chop into small cubes.
    Place in a pan with the milk and cream, and over a medium heat, bring to a simmer. Cook until tender (about 12-15 minutes).
  2. Remove the parsnips from the pan with some of the cooking liquid and pop in a blender.
  3. While the machine is on, slowly add the remaining liquid – you may not need to use it all – until it reaches a smooth consistency and resembles whipped cream and forms soft peaks. Stir in the butter and season to taste.
  4. For the spiced nuts: Warm the oil in a pan then add the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and a pinch of salt.
    Stir together then, once the sugar has dissolved, add the nuts and butter and keep stirring until the butter is melted and the nuts are glossy.
  5. Remove from the heat, keep warm until ready to serve.
  6. For the venison: Lay out two strips of pancetta, place the venison inside with a sprig of rosemary on top and wrap the pancetta around to form a parcel. Do the same with the second venison fillet.
  7. In a non-stick frying pan, add a splash of rapeseed oil and heat until the pan is slightly smoking.
  8. Place the venison parcels in the middle of the pan and cook on each side for around a minute to seal the meat and crisp the pancetta. Remove from the heat, but leave the venison in the pan.
  9. For the rarebit topping: Place two egg yolks in a bowl and add the mustard and Worcester sauce.
  10. Crumble in the Strathdon Blue cheese add chopped parsley. Crush the mixture together with a fork.
  11. Spoon 1 tbsp of the mixture on top of each piece of venison.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/425F or gas mark 7.
  13. Place the venison in an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for six to seven minutes, until the cheese is melting and bubbly.
  14. To serve: Put two generous tbsps of parsnip puree in the centre of a warmed plate, and spread out into a circle.
  15. Spoon the nuts around the edge of the puree, then place the venison in the centre.

Mulled apple and gin shots

(Serves 6-8) 

Mulled apple gin shots, and apple crisps.


  • 250ml concentrated apple juice
  • 1 fresh chilli (sliced and deseeded or whole)
  • 6 cardamon pods
  • 6 cloves
  • ½ an orange
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 50ml House of Elrick Gin


  1. Bash the cardamon pods using a rolling pin and cut the orange into slices.
  2. Place these, and the remaining ingredients into a pan. Bring to boil then switch off.
  3. Remove from the heat and place a lid on top of the pan. Leave to cool for two hours to allow all the flavours to infuse.
  4. Strain the liquid through a sieve.
  5. When required, reheat until piping hot.
  6. Pour into shot glasses and serve.

More in this series…

The Kilted Chef: These dishes will warm the heart ahead of Taste of Grampian Festival

The Kilted Chef: Chicken gives you wings

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