Rack of Venison, Port Sauce and Fig Tart Tatin

A magnificent dish from The Ritz Club - guaranteed to impress your guests
Rack of Venison, Port Sauce and Fig Tart Tatin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: hard



  • 6 racks venison steaks, 3 cutlets on each
  • 50 ml clarified butter, (ghee)

For the cabbage:

  • 2 Savoy cabbage
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 carrot, iced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 80 g canned foie gras, diced
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper

For the celeriac mash:

  • 2 small celeriac
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp double cream
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:

  • 40 g butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 350 ml port
  • 300 ml game stock
  • zest of � oranges, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper

For the fig tart tatin:

  • 150 g puff pastry
  • 40 g butter
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 6 fresh figs

For the glazed carrots:

  • 50 g butter
  • 18baby carrots
  • pinch of sugar

To garnish:

  • 6 redcurrant grapes
  • 6 parsnip chips


1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Remove six leaves from the Savoy cabbage and shave the tough stalks with a swivel peeler. Plunge the leaves into the boiling water, bring back to the boil and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.

2. Julienne the remaining cabbage, cutting out the tough core. Melt the butter in a large wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the carrot, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and juniper berries, and cook for a minute or so. Add the blanched cabbage leaves and the white wine. Simmer gently for 10-12 minutes until soft but not mushy. Then stir in the diced foie gras and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and put in a cool place.

3. When cool, fish out the whole cabbage leaves. Divide the braised cabbage mixture between the leaves, placing it in the centre of each. Fold the leaf around the mixture and shape into balls. Wrap in cling film and set aside.

4. To cook the celeriac mash, boil the cubes in salted water for 10-15 minutes until the cubes can be pierced easily with a knife. Drain well, then transfer to a food processor. Add the lemon juice, butter, cream and seasoning, and whiz to a smooth purée. Season to taste and return to the pan until ready to serve.

5. While the celeriac is cooking, make the sauce. Melt some of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sweat for a few minutes until translucent. Add the port, game stock and orange zest. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced by two- thirds. Stir in the redcurrant jelly and the remaining butter. Season to taste and set aside.

6. To make the fig tart tatin, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Roll out the puff pastry very thinly. Use a 6cm cutter or a glass to cut out six disks. Take six 5cm tartlet tins, and place a knob of butter and 1 teaspoon of sugar in each. Bake for a few minutes until the butter and sugar have caramelised. Place a fig in each and cover with a puff pastry disk. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden. Set aside and keep warm.

7. Meanwhile, cook the carrots. Melt the butter with a pinch of sugar in a large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the carrots and fry for about 5 minutes, turning regularly, until they are glazed and tender. Set aside and keep warm.

8. To cook the venison, increase the oven temperature to 200°C/gas 6. Cover the exposed bones with kitchen foil. Heat the clarified butter in an oven-proof heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear the venison on all sides. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 6 minutes for rare, 2 minutes more for medium and so on. Leave to rest in a warm place for 2-3 minutes. Before serving, cut down between the bones at least three-quarters of the way.

9. While the venison is cooking, warm up the cabbage balls in a steamer basket set over boiling water. Reheat the sauce and celeriac mash.

10. To serve, arrange some celeriac mash, a cabbage ball, carrots and a fig tartlet (inverted so the fig is on top of the pastry) around the edge of warm serving plate. Add the venison and spoon sauce around. Garnish the celeriac mash with a grape and a parsnip chip.

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