Tea Smoked Venison Salad

3:10 pm on 21 October 2016

Venison is perfectly suited to lighter style dishes and combines perfectly with fruit and cheese. Use the salad ingredients as guidance and add in fruit which is in season such as melon, mango, raspberries and blueberries (shown in the accompanying image). Caper berries and roasted baby onions also make tasty additions. This is a great dish to serve as a light lunch or a starter for a dinner party.

Ingredients

For the venison:

  • 1 venison loin, approx. 1 kg
  • 4 bags of redcurrant or blackcurrant tea, tea leaves removed
  • 1 cup flaky sea salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • 4 tbsp ground black pepper, crushed
  • For the raspberry vinaigrette:
  • 100 ml walnut oil  
  • 1 tbsp raspberry vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mild Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

For the salad:

  • 1 orange, segmented
  • 4 radishes, quartered
  • 1 large bunch of baby rocket
  • 6 roasted baby beets, skinned and cut into quarters
  • A few sprigs of watercress
  • ¼ cup fresh walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 50g goats cheese, crumbled

To garnish:
1 parsnip, cut with a peeler into thin slices and slowly fried in oil until golden brown and crispy.

Method

Trim the venison loin of any sinew. Dry with paper towels and place in a small shallow tray just big enough to hold it. Combine the tea leaves, salt, sugar and celery salt and coat the venison with this mixture. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for five hours, turning frequently. Remove the meat from the brine, rinse and dry.
Next smoke the venison using fragrant wood chips (as cool as possible- away from direct heat) until the smoke has finished.

Let the venison cool then wrap in a jacket of crushed black pepper and sear on a hot plate quickly until nicely browned. Allow to cool, wrap in foil and freeze for about 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut into very thin slices.

Prepare the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk.
For the salad, put all ingredients in a bowl and mix gently.
To serve, divide the sliced smoked venison between the plates, add a little salad to garnish and top with the fried parsnip shavings. Finally drizzle the vinaigrette and serve. Wrap any leftover smoked venison tightly with cling film and refrigerate for later use.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

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