New Zealand Venison

Al Brown's seared venison salad with pinot reduction

Serves: 6     Preparation: 1 hour     Time to cook: 20 mins     Cost per serve: $4.50



6 venison medallions

salt & black pepper


1 bag Frisee lettuce or similar

100g crumbled blue cheese

1/2 cup toasted walnuts

walnut oil

Pinot noir syrup

1 cup pinot noir

1/2 cup brown sugar

6 whole cloves

2 whole star anise

1 bay leaf

Garlic & thyme roasted Portabella mushrooms

6 large Portabella mushrooms, peeled

50g butter

2 bulbs smoked garlic

1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, very finely chopped

salt and fresh black pepper

Pinot noir syrup

Place all syrup ingredients in a saucepan and put over medium heat. Reduce to a syrup consistency; about 5 to 10 minutes. Remember the syrup will be a lot thicker once cooled.

Garlic & thyme roasted Portabella mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 170 ̊C. Place the Portabella mushrooms skin side down in an oiled ovenproof dish. In another saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with the garlic and thyme.

With a pastry brush, liberally brush the underside of the mushrooms with the thyme & butter mix. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and cooked through. Remove, cool and refrigerate until required. This can be done 2 - 3 days ahead.

Cooking, plating & serving

Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C. Place mushrooms in the oven to heat them through.

Bring the venison medallions up to room temperature, then season with salt and pepper. Take a skillet and place on medium to high heat. Add a little oil to the pan then add the medallions. Cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Remove and rest. The venison should be rare to medium rare.

To serve, place a warm mushroom in the centre of each plate & top with some slices of venison. Add some salad leaves, crumbled blue cheese, and walnuts. To finish, drizzle over the walnut oil, pinot noir syrup and add a grind of black pepper to each plate.