Saltimbocca with root vegetable mash

Sophie Michell wraps venison in Parma ham for this game version of a famous Italian dish
By Sophie Michell
Saltimbocca with root vegetable mash
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 slices Parma ham
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 2 x 200 g pieces venison steaks
  • olive oil, for frying
  • knob of butter, to finish

For the root vegetable mash

  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 swede
  • 2 carrots
  • fresh nutmeg, for grating
  • knob of butter

For the balsamic onions

  • 1 splashes olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


1. Lay the Parma ham on a clean board, place two sage leaves onto each slice of ham, then lay the venison on top.

2. Wrap the venison neatly in the ham and set aside until ready to cook.

3. For the root vegetable mash: peel the vegetables and cut them into similar-sized pieces. Put them into a large saucepan of salted water, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.

4. Drain and leave to steam dry, then mash with a knob of butter, a little freshly-grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.

5. For the balsamic onions: Heat a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a deep frying pan, add the onions fry gently for a few minutes to soften.

6. Add the juniper berries, sugar and salt to taste and continue to cook on a low to medium heat, for about 10 minutes, until browning and softening.

7. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 20 minutes until sticky and brown. Check the seasonings and remove from the heat.

8. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

9. Heat a large frying pan until hot and add a little oil. Brown the ham-wrapped venison on all sides, then transfer to the oven for 3 minutes until cooked. (The venison should not be overcooked it must be medium-rare at the most.) Remove the venison from the oven and finish with a knob of butter.

10. Add a knob of butter an end to finish off.

11. Serve the saltimbocca with a dollop of root vegetable mash and the balsamic caramelised onions.

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