Venison with vanilla mash and kumquat chutney

Impress your guests with Maria Elia's spectacular and creative recipe, combining venison with fragrant mash and a citrus chutney
By Maria Elia
Venison with vanilla mash and kumquat chutney
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus cooling, plus 5 mins resting
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 venison steaks, each 160-180g
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • sea salt, and freshly ground pepper

For the kumquat chutney:

  • 3 oranges
  • 150 g kumquats, topped and tailed, cut into ½cm slices
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 75 g pineapples, finely chopped
  • 200 ml madeira
  • pinch of nutmeg, grated
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds

For the vanilla mash:

  • 700 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into even-sized pieces
  • sea salt
  • 200 ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways
  • 150 g butter
  • sprigs watercress, to garnish

For the spiced chocolate oil:

  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 100 ml light olive oil
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • a good pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


1. First prepare the kumquat chutney. Finely grate the zest from one orange, then peel and finely chop it. Squeeze the juice from the remaining 2 oranges.

2. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add in the kumquats and blanch for 1 minute. Drain and plunge the kumquats into ice-cold water.

3. Repeat the blanching and refreshing process three more times.

4. Place the chopped orange, orange zest and juice and kumquats in a heavy-based non-stick pan.

5. Add in the brown sugar, pineapple, Madeira, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander seeds and onion seeds.

6. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the mixture has thickened and taken on a jam-like consistency. Set aside to cool.

7. To make the vanilla mash, boil the potato chunks in salted simmering water or steam them until tender.

8. Drain the boiled or steamed potato and return to a pan, shaking over a low heat to evaporate any excess moisture.

9. Meanwhile, place the cream and vanilla pod in a small heavy-based saucepan and simmer gently.

10. Mash the potatoes, then add in the hot cream, discarding the vanilla pod, and the butter. Mash together well and season with sea salt.

11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

12. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat.

13. Brush the venison steaks with olive oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

14. Add the venison steaks to the hot frying pan and sear on both sides.

15. Transfer to a roasting tray and roast for 5 minutes.

16. Remove the venison steaks from the oven and rest on a wire rack in a warm place for 5 minutes.

17. Slice each venison steak into 5 portions.

18. While the venison steak is resting, make the spiced chocolate oil.

19. Place the dark chocolate, olive oil, cinnamon, cumin, sea salt and freshly ground pepper in a heatproof bowl.

20. Suspend the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat, stirring now and then, until the chocolate has melted.

21. To serve, divide the vanilla mash among 4 warm serving plates. Top with a sprig of watercress and a spoonful of kumquat chutney. Top with sliced venison steak and a little more kumquat chutney. Drizzle with chocolate oil and serve at once.

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