As Summer fades into Autumn at first it's hard to pin down exactly which season we are in. With each passing year, it feels as though 'true Autumn' comes to us later and later. 

The mornings come slowly, all dew filled and sparkly. Moisture in the air and late summer sunshine does wonders to ripen fruit. Plum trees are laden and all of a sudden there are pears, lots of and lots of pears, ripe and ready to pick. 

Late Autumn is the season of abundance, not just in the orchards and hedgerows, but in the wild too. Venison season is upon us and now comes the time to harvest prickets to control the health of the herd. 

As the old adage goes 'what grows together, goes together' and this is certainly true for this dish. It is a real celebration of everything that is wonderful to eat right now. Truly seasonal, ethical, British and properly sustainable.

I hope you love making this very special feast. 


  • 2
  • 300g
    Plums or damsons
  • 2
    Red onions
  • A few sprigs
  • 3-4
    Bay leaves
  • A knob of
  • A drizzle
    Olive oil
  • A pinch
    Sea salt
  • A pinch
    Black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1
    Venison saddle


  • Preheat the oven to 200C.

    Take a roasting tin and drizzle it with a little oil, then place into the hot oven. 

    Prepare the fruit and vegetables. Remove the skin from the onion and chop it into quarters. Slice the pears. Give the plums a good rinse and remove any stalks. 

    Remove the hot roasting pan from the oven and scatter in the fruit and veg. Generously season everything with salt and pepper and scatter over the fresh garden herbs. Place the tray back into the oven and roast for 15 minutes. 

    Meanwhile, prepare the venison. Generously season the saddle with salt and pepper. 

    Place a cast iron pan over a high heat, drizzle in some oil and bring the pan up to smoking hot. Add the venison to the hot pan and sear on one side. Do not move the meat until a thick golden crust has formed, only then flip over to the other side. Sear for around 2 minutes, or until a golden crust has formed. To the pan, add a knob of butter and baste the venison with foaming butter for about a minute, then remove from the heat. 

    Remove the roasted fruit and veg from the oven and place the venison on top, along with all the beautiful buttery pan juices. Place the roasting tray back into the oven and roast for a further 5 minutes. 

    Remove the roasting pan from the oven and leave the venison to rest for 10 minutes before carving. 

    Serve the meat along with a generous helping of the roasted fruit and veg. 

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