If you want to impress at a dinner party for family or friends then this is a fantastic dish to do the job. It’s vibrant, full of flavour and uses the best of ingredients that are in season right now such as the elderberries.

Serves 4 - Ingredients

Deer saddle/loin 150g portions

1kg fresh beetroot

2 x red chicory

200g elderberries (or blackberries)

Vegetable oil

50g oats


Garlic cloves

Knob of butter

100ml white wine

100ml chicken/vegetable stock

300ml red wine

1ltr chicken jus


120g potatoes/baked

70g goat’s cheese

35g flour

1 x egg yolk



Pre heat oven to 180C – Gas mark 4.

For the gnocchi place 120g or 2x large baking potatoes in the oven, bake for around an hour then scoop out the potato and push through a fine sieve or mash down. Transfer into a mixing bowl and add the goat’s cheese. Using a wooden spoon beat in the cheese followed by the egg yolk.

Once all combined add a small amount of salt and the flour. Mix in thoroughly and remove from the bowl. On a flat surface kneed the mix slightly, cut off pieces, roll into balls or cut into any desired shape.

Bring a pan of seasoned water to the boil then add the gnocchi and turn down to a simmer. Once the gnocchi returns to the surface remove from the pan and into ice water for 30 seconds. Set aside until needed. When it comes to cooking the gnocchi, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and cook until golden brown.

For the beetroots I have roasted them whole. Wrap them up in a large piece of tin foil with garlic, thyme, salt and oil. Place on a baking tray in the middle of the oven and roast for around one hour or until soft. Once cooked I have peeled the skin away. I kept some as nice chunks to serve, the rest I have made into a puree. For the puree add the cooked beetroot to a food processor and blitz until smooth. You may need to add a small amount of water to break down the beetroot. Pass through a fine sieve when finished.

For the chicory, slice it in half, score the inner core. In a medium-sized pan, heat a small amount of oil. Once hot place each half flat side down into the pan and cook until golden brown. Season with salt, add the garlic and thyme. Add the white wine. Reduce this to a glaze then followed by the stock, add until around half way up the chicory. Continue to cook on the stove on a low heat until the centre core is soft. Toast oats under the grill or in a dry pan to garnish the top when serving.

The sauce is made by reducing the red wine and elderberries in a heavy based pan together until a glaze is formed. Add fresh chicken jus then reduce this again by half. Pass through a sieve pushing through all the juice from the berries.

Season the venison with salt and lower into a frying pan. Colour on each side for a minute or two then place in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 4 minutes (medium rare) before slicing. Spoon on your puree along with your beetroot piece. Garnish your chicory with oats and serve your gnocchi. Slice your venison into equal pieces and serve with your sauce adding a few berries.