Venison and Smoked Sloe

Tommy Banks

Tommy Banks

11th December 2017
Tommy Banks

Venison and Smoked Sloe

Here's a great venison recipe from Will Lockwood, our head chef at Black Swan at Oldstead. Venison recipes are becoming more popular in recent times as venison becomes a more mainstream meat in the UK. With flavours and cooking methods to suit a range of skill sets, why not give this Venison and Smoky Sloe recipe a try for yourself?


  • ⁣⁣The only real ‘recipes’ for the venison dish are the sloe gel and the black garlic paste – everything else is just very simple preparations, although some of these are fermentations done several months in advance.
  • Sloe Gel:
  • 1.5kg sloes
  • 1kg boiling water
  • 12 Lapsang Souchon teabags
  • Sugar, sea salt & gellan gum as needed.
  • Black Garlic Paste:
  • 100g peeled black garlic
  • 50g water
  • 2g sea salt
  • 10g sugar
  • 10g white wine vinegar


Sloe Gel:
Place the sloes in a large saucepan. Brew the tea bags in the water (off the heat) for 5 minutes, then strain the tea over the sloes.
Squeeze out the teabags and discard. Bring the sloes and tea to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir the pan gently to break up the fruit – don’t completely pulverise them or the gel will taste overly tannic. Hang the mixture in a muslin over a bowl for 30 minutes – you should get roughly 1.2kg of liquid.
Weigh the liquid and add 25% of its weight in sugar, 1% of its weight in sea salt, then calculate the overall weight. E.g. 1000g liquid + 250g sugar +10g sea salt = 1,260g total. Using micro scales, weigh out 1.5g gellan gum per 100g of mixture – e.g. 1,260g ÷ 100 = 12.6, so 12.6 x 1.5 = 18.9g gellan.
Hand-blend this mixture together very thoroughly, then bring to the boil to activate the gellan. Pour the boiled mixture into a gastro, and leave in the fridge to set. When cooled and set, blend throughly again to yield a fluid gel, and pass through a fine chinois.
Black Garlic Paste:
⁣Put the garlic and water in a saucepan and bring gently to just below a boil. Add the other ingredients, then blend to a fine paste and pass through a chinois.
⁣Everything else:
Venison is just pan-roasted in foaming butter for 30 seconds per side, given 1-2 minutes in a 180c oven and then basted with the butter until the centre is about 48c. It should rest a long time before carving and brushing in the black garlic paste
Sprout leaf taco is just a large outer sprout leaf that has been trimmed and blanched in very salty water for 2 minutes. It is brushed in pumpkin seed oil, which is made by blending equal weights of roasted pumpkin seeds and grapeseed oil and hanging in muslin cloth.
The taco filling is sous vide venison shoulder, charred sprouts, raw diced sprout stems and diced fermented turnip. The shoulder is simply seasoned with salt and cooked sous vide at 73c for 12 hours, then picked down. The sprouts are halved,
blackened on the cut side in a dry pan, and finely sliced. Both these are warmed in a little chicken stock and butter emulsion before going in the taco. The sprout leaf stems are simply peeled and finely diced. The fermented turnips are made by putting peeled turnips in a sterilised Kilner jar and covering with a 3% salt brine, until the jar no longer ‘pops’ when the clasp is released (about 2 weeks). These are then finely diced.
The taco is topped with pumpkin seeds and crispy kale. The seeds are roasted in butter until fragrant, then drained on kitchen towel and smashed up with a rolling pin, and seasoned with salt to taste. The kale is finely shredded, then briefly deep fried until crispy.

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