Venison fillet with beetroot and port

The earthy, sweet flavour of beetroot highlights Matt Tebbutts easy venison dish, that is elegant enough for a dinner party
By Matt Tebbutt
Venison fillet with beetroot and port
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 450 g venison fillets, trimmed
  • 25 g butter
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly crushed with the back of a knife
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 16 small cooked beetroot
  • 100 ml port
  • dash red wine vinegar

To serve

  • sprigs of watercress
  • freshly grated horseradish

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

2. Season the venison on all sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat, add the butter and fry the venison until coloured on all sides. Add the thyme, 3 juniper berries and garlic to the pan and continue to cook for 10 minutes until the venison is medium rare. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the venison to rest in the pan for at least 5 minutes, while you prepare the beetroot.

3. In a separate saucepan, heat a little olive oil and brown the cooked beetroot and remaining juniper berries over a high heat so that the beetroot lightly caramelise on the outsides.

4. Pour in the port and reduce it by two-thirds until thickened and syrupy and coating the beetroot. Finish with a small amount of red wine vinegar, to sharpen the sauce.

5. To serve, slice the rested venison into 1cm-thick slices. Arrange the watercress around the outside of a serving platter, layer the venison slices along the middle and dot round the port-caramelised beetroot along with any resting juices and a drizzle of the port/beetroot juices. Grate over some fresh horseradish.

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