Roasted loin of Balmoral venison – Happy Christmas everyone!

Unwanted Christmas Present Hat

You know, Trota, you may be right this time… 

Roasted loin of Balmoral venison – Happy Christmas everyone!

Balmoral venison

Fidget certainly looks less than impressed: his letter to Santa must have gone lost in the postal strike. But fear not, it’s Christmas and there is always a lovely dish to save the day.

As our regular readers surely know, the Rowes don’t do turkeys at Christmas. So this year our intrepid heroes opted for venison, a delicious and gamey meat, but let us be clear from the start: the supply comes from the supermarket and not the Balmoral royal estate – the recipe on the other hand is inspired by the much loved A Royal Cookbook, Seasonal Recipes from Buckingham Palace (Mark Flanagan, Royal Collection Trust, 2014).

Ingredients: 1 loin venison (about 500g), 1 clove garlic, 1 sprig thyme, 2 tbsp olive oil, seasonings. For the sauce: 2 shallots, 1 carrot finely chopped, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp barberries, 1 clove garlic finely grated, 1 sprig thyme, 60g redcurrant (or cherry) jelly, 70ml port, 300ml stock (ideally venison, otherwise beef will be fine too), 1 tbsp dried cranberries. You will also need suitable vegetables to serve on the side, we chose braised Swiss chards.

Start by preparing the sauce first: finely chop the shallots and start by frying them gently in 2tbsp olive oil; add the carrot, then the garlic and the thyme, and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the barberries, the jelly, the port and mix well, finally add the stock and simmer for about 40 min, until the mixture has reduced to about half. Then strain the sauce through a sieve, pressing well to make sure you get all the juices and add the cranberries; keep hot until you are ready to serve.

Meanwhile prepare the venison: pre-heat the oven to 150°C and, in a pan suitable for oven use, sear the seasoned venison in 2tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and thyme and transfer to the oven to roast for 20-25 min. When cooked to your liking allow to rest for a few minutes, then slice and serve with the sauce and your vegetables of choice. As mentioned we paired it with Swiss chards: we roughly chopped them, gently stir fried them in a little olive oil, then simmered them gently with the lid on for a little longer, until they were cooked. The result was utterly delicious and very, very festive.

2016 was definitely a strange year: many ups and downs, some disappointments – not least Fidget not getting the trendy trainers that he wanted – but the year is nearly over and we hope that 2017 will bring joy, happiness and many more good things to everyone. And who knows… next year Fidget might get his trainers after all.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!