Venison with sweet and sour parsnips

The is essentially a simple dish that showcases the wonderful flavor of venison. A few special additions such as sweet and sour parsnips and pear ribbons transform it into an impressive meal. Venison is the name given to any of the species of deer sold as meat in the UK. Venison with sweet and sour parsnips, pear and curly kale, Top each piece of venison with some of the sweet-and-sour parsnip ribbons. Place half of the pear ribbons along side each portion of venison, then drizzle over a little olive oil and season, to taste, with salt. Spoon the kale alongside. Spoon over the gravy.


  • 2 x 225g/8oz venison loins, fully trimmed.
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 juniper berries, freshly ground
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 110fl oz/4fl oz malt vinegar
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled, sliced into ribbons on a mandoline
  • 110ml/4fl oz chicken stock
  • 200g/7oz kale, washed thoroughly, tough stalks removed

To serve

  • 1 Conference pear, peeled, core removed, sliced into ribbons lengthways on a mandoline
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 200ml/7fl oz gravy, heated to boiling point
  • Preparation time
  • less than 30 mins
  • Cooking time
  • 30 mins to 1 hour
  • Serves
  • Serves 2


  1. Season the venison loins all over with freshly ground black pepper and some of the ground juniper berries.
  2. Roll each seasoned venison loins tightly in heatproof cling film to form two sausages.
  3. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil then reduce the heat until the water is simmering at roughly 65C/150F (use a thermometer to check the temperature).
  4. Add the wrapped venison loins, then return the water to 65C/150F and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the poached venison loins from the water remove the cling film and set aside.
  6. Meanwhile heat a frying pan over a medium to high until hot then add half of the butter. When the butter is foaming add the poached venison and fry for 30-45 seconds on each side or until just browned all over. Remove from the pan and rest for five minutes.
  7. Bring the sugar and vinegar to the boil into a non-reactive saucepan then add the remaining ground juniper berries and cook stirring regularly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  8. Add the parsnip ribbons in batches if necessary and boil for 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the poaching, shake off any excess, and set aside. Repeat the process with the remaining parsnip ribbons, if necessary.
  9. Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a separate saucepan then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Whisk in the remaining butter then add the kale and cover the pan with a lid. for 5-10 minutes or until just tender then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. To serve carve each venison loin into three slices. Place three of the slices in a line down the center of each plate. Top each piece of venison with some of the sweet-and-sour parsnip ribbons. Place half of the pear ribbons alongside each portion of venison then drizzle over a little olive oil and season, to taste, with salt. Spoon the kale alongside. Spoon over the red wine gravy.