Gary Lee's Glencoe venison loin with cep pithivier, autumn greens and barolo savoury jus

Serves 6 Starters and mains

Nrp 3279



  • 6 x 150g portions venison loin
  • 1tbsp chopped thyme
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1tbsp juniper berries, squeezed to extract flavour
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 500ml game bird jus (see recipe, below)
  • 100ml barolo wine
  • 15-20g elderberries
  • 5g dark chocolate
  • 600g mixed autumn greens, such as green and purple kale

For the pithiviers

  • 1 x quantity puff pastry
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 150g ceps, cleaned and chopped
  • 150g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and picked
  • 100g foie gras (frozen can be substituted), optional
  • beaten egg yolk, to brush

For the game bird jus

  • 1kg game trimmings (mainly drumsticks from birds, no fat)
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves (skin on), cut in half
  • 2tsp tomato purée
  • 1⁄2 bottle red wine
  • thyme sprig
  • 6 litres game stock (approx.)


Marinate the venison with the chopped thyme, orange zest, juniper and a splash of the barolo. Season well with sea salt and crushed black pepper. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 185C/ 365F/Gas 4. To make the filling for the pithiviers, sweat the onion off in a little olive oil until very soft. Add the thyme, the chopped ceps and wild mushrooms and continue to sweat. Drain some of the mushroom juices and reserve (putting in with the barolo jus).

Meanwhile, fry off the foie gras in a very hot pan until well coloured then add to the mushrooms. When the mushroom mix is well cooked, remove half the mix and blend. Combine the entire mixture and chill. Once completely cold, portion into 30g balls.

To assemble the pithiviers, cut 12 70mm rounds from the puff pastry. Place a ball of the mushroom mix in the centre of 6 of the rounds. Brush the edges with a little beaten egg yolk. Put the remaining 6 rounds on top and press down. Using an upturned 50mm cutter over the top of each pithivier, press down lightly to seal the 2 pieces of pastry. Trim each pastry using the 70mm cutter again, then chill the 6 pastries. Once very cold, brush with the beaten egg yolk and, using the back of a turning knife, score each pithivier from the bottom edge to the centre point in a 'C' shape. Be very careful to ensure the pastry doesn't tear. Chill thoroughly again. Once well chilled, lay the pithiviers on a baking tray lined with a silicone baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown in colour.

Meanwhile, reduce the game jus to a coating consistency, add the remaining barolo and whisk in the chocolate. Taste and correct the seasoning. Keep warm and set aside.

Remove the venison from the marinade and pat dry. Coat with a little olive oil. Sear the venison in a very hot pan, turning occasionally, until well coloured all over. Once the loins are cooked to your desired degree, place venison on a tray cake rack over a tray (to reserve any more juices to add to the jus), cover with foil and keep warm.

Briefly blanch the greens in salted water and drain well.

Reheat the sauce until piping hot and add the elderberries, turn the heat down and allow to simmer gently. (Adding a little butter at the end adds to the richness and gives a glossy finish). To serve, slice each piece of venison into 3 slices. Place the autumn greens on a warm plate and arrange the venison on top. Place the pithivier next to the slices of venison and sauce it.

For the game bird jus

Fry the game trimmings with a little oil to give a good colour, a bit at a time. Remove each batch from the pan and keep to one side.

Fry vegetables and garlic in the same pan with a little more oil, to give good colour.

Add the meat trimmings to the vegetables and add the tomato purée. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and thyme and reduce by half. Add the stock, season and reduce by two-thirds.

Strain through a fine strainer. The jus should be the consistency of single cream. If you would like it a thicker consistency (a game glaze), reduce further but be careful not to burn it. The jus freezes well. Use as needed.

Gary Lee, The Ivy.
Nrp 3279
Gary Lee, The Ivy.


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