Saddle of venison with chocolate beer

For an elegant game dish try Frank Bordoni's luxurious venison recipe, served with a rich chocolate beer sauce
By Frank Bordoni
Saddle of venison with chocolate beer
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1.75 hours 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 saddle of venison steaks, around 2.5-3 kg in weight removed from the bone and trimmed of fat, nerves and sinew, bones reserved
  • 1 pinches sea salt
  • 1 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 750 ml strong beef stock, or veal stock
  • 50 g dark chocolate, 70% coca solids
  • 1 bottles chocolate beer


1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/gas 7.

2. Slice the venison saddle into noisettes or small medallions and place in a shallow dish. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, add the thyme and sprinkle with a little olive oil. Cover and set aside.

3. Break up the bones a little and place in a roasting pan in the oven along with any venison trimmings until brown (approximately 15-20 minutes) then add the chopped onion, celery, carrot, garlic and juniper berries and sprinkle with the flour.

4. Toss well and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and tip the contents into a large saucepan. Deglaze the roasting pan with the beer, then add the beer to the roasted bones.

5. Add the stock and simmer gently for one hour. Strain through a fine sieve and set aside.

6. Heat a deep-sided frying pan on a high heat and seal the meat for a minute or two on each side, making sure they remain pink in the middle.

7. Pipe warm plates with parsnip mash. Divide the medallions between the plates, placing them on the parsnip mash. Pour around the sauce and finish with a knob of dark chocolate. Garnish with heart-shaped croutons and a sprig of thyme.

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