Venison Saddle with Braised Red Cabbage and Red Wine Sauce

A garnish of crunchy deep-fried onion rings turns David Massey's smart main course of roast venison into a decadent treat
By David Massey
Venison Saddle with Braised Red Cabbage and Red Wine Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the cabbage

  • 100 g red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 50 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 juniper berries, crushed
  • 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • pared strip orange zest
  • 1/2 glass red wine
  • salt and black pepper

For the sauce

  • 100 ml good beef stock
  • 1/2 glass red wine
  • knob butter

For the onion rings

  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

  • 2x170 g saddle of venison steaks


1. Put the cabbage, vinegar, apple, cinnamon, juniper, sugar, zest, and red wine in a casserole or saucepan. Add some salt and pepper and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place on the stove over a low heat and cook slowly until the cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, start the sauce. Combine the stock and red wine in a saucepan and boil hard until the volume of liquid has reduced by two-thirds.

3. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Heat a generous quantity of oil in a deep-fryer. When it is hot, dust the onion rings in flour, transfer to the deep-fryer and cook until golden brown. Set aside to drain on kitchen paper, season with salt and keep warm.

4. Meanwhile, heat a hot ovenproof pan on the stovetop. Season the venison saddles, then place in the hot pan and seal on all sides. Transfer to the oven for 6-7 minutes, then remove and set aside to rest for 4-5 minutes.

5. To finish the sauce, whisk in the butter and adjust the seasoning to taste. Place the cabbage in centre of the serving plates. Carve each portion of venison into three or four slices and arrange them over each portion of cabbage. Spoon the sauce over, garnish with deep-fried onion rings and serve.

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