Steak and chips with a wintery twist. The steaks are very lean so take care not to overcook them; nice and blush in the middle is what you are after. Their gamey flavour goes amazingly well with that most peculiarly English of condiments: the pickled walnut. You can make the ketchup recipe yourself or just blend a few of the pickled walnuts into a good quality tomato ketchup as an alternative.


  • 4
    Venison steaks
  • For the ketchup

  • 1
    Small onion, finely diced
  • 60g
    Soft brown butter
  • 5 tbsp
    Pickling vinegar from the walnuts
  • 1 pinch
  • 1 small pinch
    Cayenne pepper
  • 200g
    Pickled walnuts, roughly chopped
  • For the slaw

  • 1/2 tbsp
    Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp
    Red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp
    Olive oil
  • 1/4
    Red cabbage, very finely shredded
  • 1 handful
    Kale leaves, roughly torn
  • 1
    Beetroot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
  • 1
    Apple, cut into fine matchsticks
  • 4
    Prunes or dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/2
    Red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp
    Poppy seeds
  • 1 small bunch
    Chervil or parsley, roughly chopped
  • For the shoe-string fries

  • 2
    Large potatoes
  • 1 tbsp
    Rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • A drizzle
    Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying


  • To make the ketchup, cook the onion in a small saucepan with 1 tbsp of oil for 20 mins until very soft. Add the sugar, pickling vinegar, allspice and cayenne. Cook gently until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the walnuts. Blend into smooth sauce and adjust the seasoning to your taste. You can pass it through a fine sieve if you want it perfectly smooth. Leave to cool. This will store for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

    For the slaw, whisk the mustard and vinegar together in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Whisk the oil in bit by bit until you have a dressing. Add the cabbage and kale and mix well. Leave for 5 minutes to let the kale leaves soften slightly. Mix everything else in and adjust the seasoning to your taste.  

    To make the fries, thinly slice the potatoes and then cut the slices into matchstick-thick lengths – or use the julienne attachment on a mandolin. Sit them in a deep bowl of cold water for about 10 mins to remove some of the starch. Drain them well and then pat them dry with some kitchen roll or a clean tea towel. Just before you plan on cooking the steaks, put the frying oil in a high sided pan - you should only need about 2 inches of oil to fry in. Slowly bring the oil up to 190⁰c.  

    Fry them for 3-4 minutes or until deeply golden and crisp; you’ll probably need to do this in batches, bringing the oil back up to temperature in between. You can do this while the steaks are cooking and resting. Remove them with a slotted spoon and pop them straight into a mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and rosemary and toss them to coat. Serve immediately. 

    To cook the steaks, put a cast iron pan onto the heat until very hot. Season well and cook for about 2½ minutes on each side. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  

    Serve each steak with a tumbled pile of fries, a tangle of slaw and a hearty blob of ketchup.

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