Cervena® venison loin with braised venison cheeks and sautéed pumpkin mousse

Braised venison cheeks

Preheat oven to 150 ̊C - 170 ̊C. Season the venison cheeks with salt and black pepper.  In a skillet or sauté pan over high heat, add a little canola oil then sear the venison cheeks until golden all over.  Remove and place in a braising or ovenproof dish.

In a saucepan add all the other ingredients and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot stock with the vegetables and spices over the venison cheeks, cover and place in the hot oven to cook until tender to the touch – approximately two hours.

Remove the venison cheeks from the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon. Pour the stock through a fine sieve, then back in to a saucepan and discard the spices and vegetables, etc.

Now place the braising liquid back on the heat and reduce down to a sauce consistency. Check and adjust seasoning if required. Now place your cheeks back in the sauce.

Refrigerate until required.

Pumpkin mousse

Preheat oven to 160 ̊C. Place pumpkin, olive oil, rosemary and garlic in a large roasting dish and toss together. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for another 10 minutes to caramelise the pumpkin & then remove from the oven.

Place cream and maple syrup in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the pumpkin and return to the boil, stirring occasionally. Take the saucepan off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Pour pumpkin and cream mixture in to a stand-up blender and puree until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the whole eggs and egg yolks. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Lower the oven temperature to 120 ̊C, then line a 30cm x 40cm ovenproof dish with baking paper and pour the pumpkin mixture in to a depth of 2cm. Place in the oven and bake for 14 minutes before turning the baking dish around and cooking for a further 6 minutes. Pumpkin mousse is ready when it no longer wobbles in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool. Refrigerate until required.

Cooking and serving

Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C. Season the venison shortloin with sea salt and fresh black pepper.

Place a skillet or sauté pan on high heat & add a little oil, then the venison. Sear until golden on each side then place in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and rest the venison for at least 5 minutes.

Cute the pumpkin mousse in to 2cm x 10cm portions. The mousse is very delicate so handle carefully. Lightly dust it in flour.

Add a little cooking oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Once hot, sauté the pumpkin mousse portions 4 at a time for approximately a minute on either side until they are golden brown on both sides. Carefully remove them from the pan with a thin spatula and place on an oven tray. Place in the oven for two to three minutes to heat through. Remove and keep warm.

Gently heat the venison cheeks and braising liquid in a large saucepan until it is heated through.

To serve, place a portion of the pumpkin mousse in the centre of each plate. Add a couple of slices of venison shortloin. Spoon out two or three of the venison cheeks and add to each plate. Pour a little of the braising liquid over the dish and finish by adding a few pinot noir cherries.

* Serve with some simple steamed vegetables or a green salad.

Serves 6

Preparation: 2 hours

Time to cook: 3 hours

Cervena® venison loin with braised venison cheeks and sautéed pumpkin mousse


Braised venison cheeks

1 kg venison cheeks (or venison shank meat)

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

canola oil

1 cup onion (roughly chopped)

1 cup carrot (roughly chopped)

1 cup celery (roughly chopped)

200 mls quality beef jus

1 L quality chicken stock

1 cinnamon quill

2 star anise

3 whole allspice

4 whole cloves

50 gms ginger, peeled & thickly sliced

3 cloves garlic

65 gms palm sugar

Pumpkin mousse

600 gms pumpkin (skinned, seeded & cut into 2 cm cubes)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 ½ cup cream

75 mls maple syrup

4 eggs

2 egg yolks

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Cooking and serving

800 gms Cervena venison shortloin (silver-skin removed)

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

cooking oil


pinot noir cherries

mixed steamed vegetables or green salad ingredients

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