Loin of Venison with Braised Red Cabbage and Macerated Figs


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Season to Taste

By Liam Tomlin

Published 2005

  • About


  • 100ml Sugar syrup
  • 25ml Port
  • 25ml Aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Stick cinnamon
  • 2 pieces Star anise
  • 360g Venison loin
  • 10ml Vegetable oil
  • 6 Kipfler or Chats Potatoes
  • 25ml Clarified butter
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1sprig fresh thyme
  • 15g Whole, unsalted butter
  • 20g Raisins
  • 320g Braised red cabbage
  • 4 Large black figs
  • 100ml Port wine jus
  • 12 Chive tips
  • 12 sprigs chervil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


Mix together the sugar syrup, Port, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon and star anise in a heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and reduce by a quarter. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Prick the figs all over with a fork, place into the syrup and allow them to macerate for 6 hours before removing them from the liquid. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.

Season the venison with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat 10ml vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat and seal the venison until evenly browned. Transfer to the oven and continue to cook for a further 6 - 8 minutes or longer, if the meat is preferred less rare. Remove the venison from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

While the venison is cooking, wash the potatoes under cold running, water and cut in half lengthways. Heat the clarified butter in a large cast-iron pan, add the potatoes, garlic and thyme and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Fry the potatoes for 6 minutes, tossing frequently and transfer to the oven to cook until tender and golden brown. Add the whole butter and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, drain the potatoes and remove the garlic and thyme. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Keep warm.

Stir the raisins through the red cabbage and reheat over a low heat stirring occasionally, checking the seasoning and adjusting if necessary.

Using a sharp knife cut the figs into quarters, brush with a little of the syrup and warm through in the oven. Reheat the Port wine jus. Trim the ends of the venison and carve into 16 even slices. Lightly season them with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Place a 6cm pastry ring in the centre of a warm plate and spoon the red cabbage into it, pressing down with the back of a spoon so that it holds together once the pastry ring is removed. Lay 4 overlapping slices of venison onto the red cabbage to form a circle of meat. Remove the pastry ring. Place 3 pieces of potato around the venison and a wedge of fig in-between each piece of potato. Place a wedge of fig on top of the venison and drizzle the Port wine jus over and around the venison. Garnish with chive tips and sprigs of chervil.