Venison with blackberry and beetroot relish

Try Nici Wickes' recipe for thinly sliced venison with a dark, peppery blackberry and beetroot relish – these flavours were definitely meant to go together!

By Nici Wickes
  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in New Zealand Woman's Weekly.
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  • 500 gram Denver leg or shortloin venison
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 or 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • decent grind black pepper
Beetroot relish
  • 2 medium beetroot, peeled and grated or finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup fruit or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 cup blackberries


  • 1
    Trim the venison of any silver skin (or ask your butcher to do it). Drizzle over olive oil, then lemon juice and season with herbs and seasoning. Set aside (can be overnight).
  • 2
    Make relish by simmering the beetroot and onion with sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved and beetroot and onion has softened – about 20 minutes. Add the blackberries and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Cool.
  • 3
    To cook the venison, heat an oven-proof pan to hot and preheat oven to 200°C. Sear meat on all sides until browned, then place in oven to cook, (12-15 minutes for Denver leg or 5-7 minutes for strip loin), or until cooked rare. Test by touching the meat, it should still feel springy but with some resistance – like the fleshy part of your thumb when you touch it lightly to index finger. Set the venison aside to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  • 4
    Serve on salad greens (Nici used baby silverbeet and beetroot leaves), topped with relish.


  • For tender venison, cook it hot, fast and rare. - Try this tasty relish with crumbed and fried rabbit legs or barbecued pork chops.

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