Venison on sourdough

Great dressings and quick pickled cucumber make this starter for two a feast for the tastebuds.

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For the venison

For the cucumber

For the crispy onions

To serve


  1. For the venison, place the chopped thyme and salt on a chopped board and mix. Roll the venison loin in the mix, coating all round. Season with pepper.

  2. Heat a medium frying pan and add the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the venison all over and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning while cooking.

  3. Put the cucumber slices in a sieve and add salt. Leave for a few minutes and then squeeze out excess water, mix with the vinegar and sugar and drain again. Set aside until needed.

  4. For the crispy onions, fill a deep-fat fryer or a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pan two-thirds full with vegetable oil. Heat to 180C. (To check the oil is at the right temperature, drop a cube of bread into the hot oil. It should become golden-brown in 1 minute.) (CAUTION: Hot oil can be dangerous. Don't leave unattended.)

  5. Mix the salt and flour on a plate. Dredge the onion slices in flour and deep-fry for 2 minutes. Remove and place on a plate with kitchen roll and season with salt.

  6. To serve,place the sourdough on a serving plate and spread with the mustard. Slice the venison and place on top. Quenelle the crème fraîche on the side, pile cucumbers next to the venison and finish with crispy onions and fennel seeds. Finish the dish with the lemon zest, capers, dill and horseradish.

Recipe Tips

Rice flour absorbs a lot of moisture so will make your fried onions extra crisp, but you use plain flour if you prefer.