Springbok tataki

Luke Dale Roberts combines South African antelope meat with Japanese techniques in this stunning starter
Springbok tataki
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: plus 3 hours drying Intermediate
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the herb oil

  • 500 pinches olive oil
  • 15 g thyme
  • 15 g rosemary
  • 15 g sage
  • 20 garlic cloves

For the goats cheese can courgette rolls

  • 3 courgettes, sliced into 18 x 1.5mm thick ribbons
  • 200 g goats' cheese, (8mm diameter log)

For the semi-dried tomatoes

  • 18 baby roma tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

For the pine nut, lemon confit and thyme gremolata

  • 5 g lemon thyme, leaves chopped
  • 150 g pine nuts
  • ½ tsp palm sugar

For the basil mayonnaise

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 40 g basil, leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 25 ml white wine vinegar
  • 400 ml olive oil

For the balsamic celeriac

  • 175 g celeriac, diced
  • 250 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 75 ml soy sauce
  • 200 g palm sugar, crumbled
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic, cloves

For the asparagus

  • 12 asparagus, woody ends removed
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • pinches sugar
  • pinches salt

For the springbok tataki

  • 500 g venison, or springbok loin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the polenta crisp

  • 200 ml water
  • 50 g polenta
  • 30 g parmesan
  • 1-2 egg whites

To serve

  • 1 handfuls pea shoots


1. For the herb oil: place the herbs and garlic into a small pan and cover with the olive oil. Gently cook over a low heat for one hour. Strain into a sterilised bottle.

2. For the goats cheese and courgette rolls: blanch the courgette ribbons in a pan of boiling water for 10 seconds, or until softened. Drain and refresh in cold water. Drizzle with some of the herb oil.

3. Lay one ribbon out on work surface and cut the log of goats cheese roll into 18 pieces the same width as the courgette. Roll the cheese up in the courgette ribbons until you have 18 rolls.

4. Preheat the oven to its lowest possible setting.

5. For the semi-dried tomatoes: slice half way through the root of each tomato, open each up and place on a baking tray. Mix the salt and sugar together and sprinkle over the open tomatoes. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and bake in an oven for at least 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are semi-dried.

5. Increase the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

6. For the polenta crisp: cook the polenta in the water, according to packet instructions, until soft and paste-like in consistency. Stir in the parmesan until melted, then set aside to cool completely.

7. When the polenta has cooled, whisk together with the egg white. Spread the polenta onto a silicone sheet in long rectangles approximately 2.5cm wide and 13cm long. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until pale golden-brown and crisp.

8. For the pine nut, lemon confit and thyme gremolata: blend all of the gremolata ingredients together until roughly chopped.

9. For the basil mayonnaise: place the egg yolks, Dijon mustard and vinegar into a food processor and blend until well combined. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil in a thin, steady stream until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy. Stir in the basil and set aside.

10. For the balsamic celeriac: place the celeriac into a pan and add all of the remaining celeriac ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Place a cartouche of greaseproof paper over the celeriac, cover with a lid and cook until the celeriac is tender and the liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Set aside to cool, then chill in the fridge until needed.

11. For the asparagus: blanch the asparagus in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, or until tender. Drain and refresh in iced water. Drain, pat dry on kitchen paper and place into a bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle over the sugar and salt.

12. For the springbok tataki: season the springbok loin with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sear the loin for 1-2 minutes on all sides, or until golden-brown all over.

13. Remove the loin from the pan and set aside to cool slightly. Roll up tightly in a cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.

14. To serve, arrange the blanched asparagus on a plate. Thinly slice the springbok tataki, then finely chop a quarter of the springbok meat. Drizzle the finely chopped springbok with more herb oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the courgette rolles to the plate, then dot the semi-dried tomatoes around followed by the seasoned chopped springbok meat. Drizzle over some basil mayonnaise and sprinkle over some gremolata. Spoon the balsamic celeriac around. Top the plate with the sliced springbok tataki and polenta crisps. Garnish with a few drizzles of herb oil and the pea shoots.

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