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Fraser Rigby - Pan roasted venison saddle

Updated: May 19, 2023

2023 - 16-18 Age Category - Winner


For the pan roasted saddle of venison:

1x 1/4 section of venison saddle

50g unsalted butter

4 cloves of garlic

4 sprigs of rosemary

Maldon sea salt

Mixed peppercorns

For the roasted cauliflower purée:

Brown butter - 250g unsalted butter - won’t use all of it

1 whole organic cauliflower with leaves

A few sprigs of thyme

Salt and cider vinegar to taste

For the hazelnut crumb:

250g rough cut blanched roasted hazelnuts

1 tsp chopped thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

For sautéed greens:

Leaves of cauliflower as above

A few chervil roots - number dependent of size of roots however roughly equal volume of cavolo nero, cauliflower leaf and chervil root

One small shallot

For the venison sauce:

600ml beef stock


Carcass from boned out saddle of venison (above)

Handful of chervil

Damson vinegar (homemade)

Salt to taste

4 cloves

2 tbsp juniper berries

For the preserved damson condiment:

Handful of dried damsons and elderberries (homegrown/foraged)

200ml blackberry juice to be prepared in advance

Small handful of dress rosemary

200ml of a full bodied dry red wine

4 fresh bay leaves

4 star anise

Salt, sugar and damson vinegar to taste

For caramelised mushrooms:

4 clusters of organic oyster mushrooms

Olive oil

1 whole black truffle


1 Tbsp chopped thyme

1 tsp ground anise

Cracked black pepper

For the caramelised tongue:

200g steamed and compressed beef or venison tongue

Very small amount of oil

Salt and pepper

Chervil oil to dress

For garnish:

Micro chervil

Cauliflower tips pickled in lacto fermented damson and rosemary juice and pickled chervil root (homemade but to be prepared in advance due to the long pickling time)


Preheat oven to 180F.

First prepare the saddle of venison, separating the flesh from the bones in as few cuts as possible.

Reserve the flesh and place the bones in a roasting tray in the oven to roast for 30 minutes.

For the dried damson condiment combine all the ingredients bar the salt and sugar in a pan, bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cook till soft, blend.

For the jus, bring beef stock to the boil, reduce to simmer.

For the cauliflower purée heat 150g of brown butter in a frying pan, meanwhile break down the cauliflower -stalk as well into golf ball size pieces, fry off until coloured on all sides, drain, then roast in oven for 15 minutes with the thyme.

Once slightly cooled blend the roasted cauliflower with some of the browned butter from cooking until very smooth, pass off, season to taste with salt and cider vinegar.

Prep the greens by finely chiffonading cauliflower leaves, cavolo nero into thin ribbons, finely slicing the shallot and the chervil root.

For the brioche/hazelnut crumb caramelise the brioche crumbs and rough cut hazelnuts in a pan until golden.

For the caramelised oyster mushrooms, heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, caramelise the mushrooms on all sides, then sprinkle carefully with the pepper, salt, thyme and anise.

For the hazelnut brioche crumb, toast the nuts and brioche crumbs until golden brown, season with salt, pepper and thyme.

For the brioche/hazelnut crumb caramelise the brioche crumbs and rough cut hazelnuts in a pan until golden.

For the caramelised tongue: slice up the tongue and fry lightly to colour both sides, set aside.

For the roasted saddle of venison season generously on all sides with ground juniper, mixed peppercorns and maldon sea salt. Warm butter in a pan until almost foaming, add the aromats, very carefully colour the outside of the venison then roast in oven for 5-7 minutes checking every two minutes to baste.

Rest for 7 minutes covered in tin foil on a wire rack.

Infuse the roasted bones into the sauce then pass off.

Finish the sauce with the damson vinegar and chopped chervil.

•Warm the mushrooms, purée and tongue.

Warm plate up in oven then plate up each individual element as fast as possible to avoid going cold.

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