Venison fillet with an apricot and honey stuffing

For a splendid autumn meal try Ed Baines's apricot-stuffed roast venison with polenta and cabbage, a wonderfully flavourful combination
By Ed Baines
Venison fillet with an apricot and honey stuffing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes plus 24 hrs pre-soaking
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 g venison fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinches black pepper

For the apricot stuffing

  • 250 g dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 200 ml white wine, sweet
  • 100 g pistachio nuts, ground
  • 1 lemons, juice and zest
  • 1 handfuls breadcrumbs

For the polenta

  • 400 ml water
  • 200 g quick-cook polenta
  • 100 g parmesan, grated
  • 200 g butter
  • 1 pinches black pepper

For the red cabbage

  • 0.5 red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 100 g raisins
  • 200 ml oranges, juice, freshly squeezed
  • 100 g sugar


1. First prepare the apricot stuffing. Soak the dried apricots in the honey and sweet white wine for 24 hours. 2. To cook the red cabbage, place the red cabbage, raisins, orange juice and zest and sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and summer gently for 1 hour, stirring now and then. 3. Meanwhile, strain the soaked apricots and finely chop them. Mix together the chopped apricots, ground pistachios, lemon juice and zest and breadcrumbs. 4. Using a long, sharp knife cut a cavity in the venison fillet. Place the apricot mixture in a piping bag with a large nozzle and pipe the filling into the cavity. 5. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas 6. 6. Heat a heavy roasting pan on the hob until hot. Add in the olive oil, heat through, then add in the stuffed venison fillet. Sear the venison on all sides. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. 7. Transfer the venison in the pan to the oven and roast it for 10 minutes. 8. Remove the venison and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. 9. While the venison is roasting, cook the polenta. Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add in the instant polenta in a steady stream, stirring as you do so. Cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta thickens, then simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes. Mix in the Parmesan and butter and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper. 10. To serve, slice the venison fillet and serve it with the polenta and red cabbage.

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