Roast Venison and Cabbage Parcel

Serve up a splendid meal with James Tanner's creative recipe for venison with chocolate sauce, barley risotto and side vegetables
By James Tanner
Roast Venison and Cabbage Parcel
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 slices venison loin, each 180g
  • black pepper
  • olive oil

For the cabbage parcels:

  • 1/2 Savoy cabbage
  • black pepper
  • knob of butter
  • 4 sprig thyme, chopped

For the pearl barley risotto:

  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • knob of unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 50 g pearl barley
  • black pepper
  • 20 g parmesan, grated

For the red wine sauce:

  • 100 ml red wine
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 600 ml beef stock
  • 6 dark chocolate buttons, (70% cocoa)

For the curried squash:

  • 1 squash
  • 4 clove garlic, halved
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, snapped
  • 3 tsp Madras curry powder
  • black pepper
  • olive oil, for coating


1. First make the curried squash. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Peel the squash, slice in half and remove the seeds. Cut the squash halves into 2.5cm thick strips.

2. Mix together the garlic, rosemary and curry powder.

3. Place the squash in a roasting tray. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and toss with olive oil. Toss with the curry powder mixture.

4. Roast the squash for 20-30 minutes until just tender. Remove the garlic and rosemary and keep warm until serving.

5. Prepare the cabbage parcels. Pick 4 large leaves from the Savoy cabbage, blanch them in salted water then refresh in iced water and set aside.

6. Slice the rest of the cabbage and place it a saucepan. Add in a splash of water, the butter and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. When the cabbage is just cooked add the thyme.

7. Cut the stalks out of the 4 large cabbage leaves, lay them on cling film and fill each one with the sliced cabbage. Lift up the corners of the cling film and create a ball. Tie a knot at the end of the cling film to seal it and set aside.

8. To make the risotto, bring the stock to a simmer. Heat the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and add in the shallot, mixing well.

9. Mix in the pearl barley and fry for 1 minute. Add in the hot stock and cover with a lid.

10. Simmer until the risotto is tender, stirring from time to time. When the barley is tender, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and mix in the Parmesan.

11. To make the red wine sauce, heat the red wine in a saucepan with the chopped shallots and cooked briskly until reduced by half.

12. Add in the beef stock and reduce by two-thirds. Just before serving, add the chocolate buttons and whisk until melted.

13. Meanwhile, cook the venison, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Season the venison with salt and freshly ground pepper.

14. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until hot. Add in olive oil and heat through, then add in the venison and sear on all sides.

15. Transfer the venison to a roasting tray and roast for 8 minutes. Remove and rest in warm place for 5 minutes.

16. Steam the cabbage parcels for 5 minutes to warm through, cut the cling film off and place on two warm serving plates.

17. Place the warm risotto in two dariole mould and turn out onto a plate next to the cabbage parcel. Slice the venison and fan it out on the plate. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over and around the venison and serve with the curried squash.

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