Loin of venison with ceps and fried pastry cream

Crisp custard fritters might seem a strange paring with meat, but Giorgio Locatelli swears it is brilliant
By Giorgio Locatelli
Loin of venison with ceps and fried pastry cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus 1-2 days marinating and chilling
  • Effort: medium


  • 800 g lean loin of venison steaks, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 200 g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 300 g fresh cep mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 1 heads radicchio
  • splashes white wine vinegar

For the marinade

  • 1 litres red wine
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic

For the pastry cream

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50 g sugar
  • 90 g flour
  • 10 g cornflour
  • 500 ml milk
  • 3-4 tbsp dry breadcrumbs


1. For the marinade: put the venison into a container with all the marinade ingredients and leave to marinate for a couple of days in the fridge. (If you like the flavour of juniper and want to intensify it, crush two of the berries first - but, remember, it has a very strong taste.)

2. For the pastry cream: in a bowl mix the egg yolks with the sugar, flour and cornflour. Bring the milk to almost boiling point, take off the heat and beat into the egg mixture. Pour back into the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the custard becomes very thick.

3. Pour into a tray, to come to a depth of about 1cm, and leave to cool completely - a couple of hours. When cold and set, cut into whatever shapes you like and dust with the breadcrumbs.

4. A couple of hours before you're eating, take the venison out of the fridge and pat it dry. Discard the marinade. Heat a frying pan and add the vegetable or sunflower oil. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Take off the heat and leave to rest for about 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile heat a saucepan. Add half of the butter and the chopped garlic. Then add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add the white wine and cook until it evaporates.

6. Heat the rest of the butter in a small frying pan and fry the shapes of pastry crème until golden on both sides - the pan needs to be hot or they will start to melt.

7. Strip the radicchio leaves and roughly chop. Season with salt and pepper and dress with white wine vinegar.

8. To serve, arrange the mushrooms and radicchio salad in the centre of a serving plate, with the slices of meat on top and the pastry cream on the side.

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