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Recipe

Venison with blackberry and wine-braised cabbage

Nadia Lim loves to cook food that is as close to nature as possible. This dish showcases that, with beautifully tender and juicy venison being served on top of her vibrant blackberry and wine-braised cabbage.

By Nadia Lim
  • 45 mins preparation plus 3-5 hours' curing and marinating time
  • Serves 4
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Carlos and I are extremely lucky to get wild venison every now and again and we make sure we use every part we can. The tender back steaks are a treat so we save them for a special dinner.
We marinate them in this spice rub for hours – the rub semi-cures the meat and the flavour really gets in. It is beautiful served with this braised cabbage dish, the blackberry going perfectly with the venison. If you prefer, cook the cabbage ahead and rewarm when ready to serve.
- Nadia Lim

Ingredients

Spice rub and venison
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 fat clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • 1-2 venison backsteaks (venison loin or medallions) – 200-300g in total
Braised cabbage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, plus an extra knob to finish
  • 700-800 g (½ medium) red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Juice 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 1 tbsp blackberry, plum or cherry jam or jelly

Method

  • 1
    For the rub, place the seeds in a mortar and pestle and crush. Add garlic and crush. Then stir in smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt and 2 Tbsp olive oil.
  • 2
    Pat venison dry with paper towels and slather in rub, coating it all over. Leave on a plate to cure and marinate at room temperature for anywhere from 3-5 hours.
  • 3
    For cabbage, place oil, butter, cabbage, cinnamon sticks and bayleaf in a large, heavy-based pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until cabbage starts to soften.
  • 4
    Add wine, juice, currants and jam. Continue cooking for a further 20 minutes until cabbage is soft, and liquid has reduced. Stir through knob of butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a heavy-based (ideally cast-iron) frying pan on medium-high heat. Cook venison for about 2 minutes per side (for medium rare) or until done to your liking. Leave to rest for a good 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with braised cabbage.

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