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.
Season the venison with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat
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.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.