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Roast loin of Scottish venison with new season beetroots, curly kale, chanterelles and whisky-scented sauce

Made at 34 Mayfair | Serves 4

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This is the perfect dish to bring everything together that is evocative of autumn in the Highlands. Wonderfully rich, yet lean venison, sweet new season baby beetroots, vibrant vitamin-rich curly kale and earthy chanterelles… all finished with a splash of Single Malt for a touch of extra indulgence. Autumn in the Highlands on a plate!

600g venison loin, fully trimmed (keep the trimmings to one side)
Sunflower oil for frying
12 fresh small or baby beetroots
200g curly kale, trimmed and washed
150g chanterelles mushrooms (or any other wild mushrooms will do)
500ml chicken stock (a good quality stock cube will do)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50ml unsalted butter

For the sauce
2 shallots, diced
A sprig of thyme
50ml malt whisky
2 garlic cloves, crushed
125ml red wine
Pinch of sugar
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

When buying your meat, ask the butcher to clean up your venison loin and give you the trimmings. Put the trimmings into a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes until brown.

Cut the stalks off the beetroot and wash well. Once washed, place them in a saucepan with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Then simmer for roughly 45 minutes until you can insert a knife with minimal resistance. If the liquid reduces, top up with water. Once cooked, drain (keeping the cooking liquid to one side) and leave until cool enough to handle. Then rub off the skin with a small knife – the skin should peel off quite easily. Cut the beetroots in half or if they are larger ones, into quarters. Place half of them into a small saucepan with a splash of the cooking liquor; bring to the boil. Then liquidise them until very smooth and transfer into a clean saucepan.

Bring a saucepan of salty water to the boil and blanch the kale for 3 to 4 minutes till tender. Drain and plunge into cold water, then drain again. Press out any excess water and keep to one side.

For the sauce

Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan, and add a splash of sunflower oil. Then add the shallots, thyme and garlic for a few minutes until they are soft. Add the venison trimmings, red wine and reduce by two thirds. Then add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan and reduce till it coats the back of a spoon. Add the whisky and a pinch of sugar, bring to the boil. Then add half the butter, stir well, take off the heat and keep to one side.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan and cook the fillets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium rare, or 3 to 4 minutes for medium. Leave to rest on a warm plate to catch the juices. Add the juices to the sauce.

To serve
Reheat the beetroot purée and keep warm. Heat a frying pan, add a splash of oil and the rest of the butter. Add the chanterelles, sauté for two minutes, then add the kale and the halved beetroots. Season and keep warm. Place a spoonful of beetroot purée on each plate, scatter over the beetroot, mushroom and kale. Slice the venison loin and put four pieces onto each plate. Finish with the reheated sauce.

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