Venison fillet recipe with wild mushrooms & chestnuts

Emma Lee

This recipe was given to me by my dear friend Vicente Taberner; Vicente and Anne own Huerta de Albalá winery in Cádiz. We’ve worked together to make our own wine, which has been an amazing experience, creating something unique for everyone to enjoy. The milk in this recipe balances the strong flavour of the meat, so the taste is surprisingly delicate. It serves four as a starter or light lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 × 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) venison fillet
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) whole (full-fat) milk
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 250 g (9 oz) wild mushrooms, such as ceps, chanterelles, black trumpets and saffron milk caps
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • 100 g (3½ oz) chestnuts, cooked, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 20 g (¾ oz) membrillo, diced
  • 2–3 tablespoons chicken stock
  • handful of rocket (arugula) leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Method

  1. Place the venison in a glass or ceramic dish and cover with the milk. Add the spices to the dish, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and marinate overnight in the fridge.
  2. The next day, remove the meat from the milk, pat dry and season all over. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan until really hot and sear the venison all over for 2 minutes on each side, until really well browned and caramelised. Allow to cool a little, then wrap tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for 2–3 hours.
  3. When ready to serve, pour a little more oil into a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme and fry for 4–5 minutes, until golden. Add the chestnuts and cook for 1 minute more, then add the sherry vinegar, membrillo and stock. Cook for 2–3 minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from the heat and season well.
  4. Unwrap the venison and slice it as finely as possible. Spoon the mushrooms onto individual plates and top with the thinly sliced venison. Scatter over the rocket, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and finish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving.

A recipe from Andalusia by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant). Buy the book here.

Venison fillet recipe with wild mushrooms & chestnuts