South Downs Venison with Parsnips, Pear , Charred Sprouts and Sultana (Serves 4)
3-4kg venison saddle (you’ll be using the loins so could just ask your butcher for venison loins to serve four)
300g vegetable stock
50g double cream
200g purple sprouts, with the tops on (though standard, trimmed varieties will work just as well)
Salt and pepper
Parsnip crisps to serve, optional
For the sultana reduction
1 bay leaf
For the pear puree
540g fresh pear juice (bought or made)
6g agar-agar (available at Lakeland, Waitrose and Ocado)
Lemon juice for seasoning
lFor pear puree, bring the pear juice to simmer, whisk in the agar-agar and bring to boil, whisking continuously for two minutes. Put in a container and chill. When set, cut pieces and blend until smooth. Season with lemon juice and salt.
lFor parsnips, peel and then from the thick end, slice into one-inch pieces until you get halfway down the parsnip, then set aside. With the parsnip that is left, cut into small pieces.
lMelt butter in a heavy bottom saucepan until foaming. Add the parsnip and a pinch of salt, cover and cook slowly until soft. Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the double cream and bring to the boil again, and then blend until smooth. Check the seasoning then set aside.
lFor the sprouts, clean them (keeping some of the outer leaves for garnish) and then boil a large pan of water. Boil the sprouts for four to five minutes, put into ice water, and then drain. Cut the sprouts in half and saute in a heavy-based frying pan. Season and set aside.
lTo make the sultana reduction, mix all of the ingredients together, place in a pan, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, and then blend until smooth and set aside.
lWhen ready, if using a venison saddle, remove the loins and all sinew. Pan fry the loins in a large frying pan for two minutes on each side, and then remove from pan and allow to rest.
lTo plate up, warm the blended parsnips and arrange with the venison loins on top. Arrange your sprouts on the plate, along with the pear puree, garnish with with parsnip crisps (optional) and sprout tops and drizzle with the sultana reduction.