We all need to eat more venison. The venison population has skyrocketed in recent years, which is having a huge impact on our woodland. With heavy traffic of wild deer snaffling up any young seedlings, our native trees are not able to establish their progeny, which means we could see areas that were once covered with a thick blanket of ancient woodland, become bare.

Deer require management as they have no natural predators in the countryside, this means selective killing, with rifles, by skilled stalkers is required. By 'culling' deer we are actively supporting ecology, allowing flora and fauna to thrive in the wild. 

Deer's free-foraging, truly wild lifestyle makes it uniquely delicious and healthy - the leanest meat there is, in fact. It is as tasty as anything else you'll eat and you know when you're choosing venison, you're choosing one of the most sustainable sources of protein on the planet. 

To celebrate the new venison season, our friend Gill Meller has crafted this wholesome supper. Walnuts and earthy roasted beetroots are paired with aromatic spices and topped with beautiful lean venison steaks. Not only is this recipe super delicious, but its incredibly good for you too. 

Ingredients

  • 3
    Venison steaks
  • 4-6
    Small to medium sized beetroot
  • 2 teaspoons
    Cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons
    Coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon
    Black onion seeds
  • 1
    Clove of garlic, grated
  • 4
    Sprigs of rosemary
  • A small pinch
    Chilli flakes
  • 4 tablespoons
    Natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons
    Olive oil
  • 1 knob
    Grass Fed butter
  • 1 handful
    Walnut halves
  • A pinch
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Set a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast them gently until fragrant. Crush them coarsely in a pestle and mortar.

    Scrub the beetroot and cut them into wedges. Scatter them out over the base of a baking tray and trickle with half the olive oil. Sprinkle over half the crushed spices and half the black onion seed. Tear over half the rosemary and season well with salt and black pepper. Roast the beetroot in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, turning once or twice.

    Meanwhile stir the remaining spices through the yoghurt along with the grated garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 

    Season the steaks with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle over the chilli.

    Set a medium pan down over a high heat. Add the last of the oil and when it’s hot lay in the venison steaks. Cook them for 1 – 2 minutes on the first side then turn them and add the butter, garlic clove and remaining rosemary. Baste the steaks as they finish cooking with the bubbling butter. Remove the steaks to rest. 

    Leave the pan on the heat, throw in the walnut halves and toast them for 3 – 4 minutes in the garlicy butter, remove the pan fro the heat.

    To serve, scatter the roast beetroot out over a large warm serving platter. Slice the venison thickly and arrange this around the beetroot along with any buttery resting juices. Spoon over the yoghurt and scatter over the walnuts.

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