Succulently ripe berries and tender venison combine to create the ultimate winter dish
• 1 carrot
• 1 red onion
• 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
• 1 x 2.5kg haunch of venison, on the bone
• 1 fresh thyme sprig
• 6 juniper berries
• 2 bay leaves
• 300g blackberries
For the sauce:
• 125ml red wine
• 300ml beef stock
• 25g butter
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C. Cut the carrot in half lengthways, then roughly chop the red onion. Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat, then add the rapeseed oil and venison. 2 Cook on each side until browned, then set aside.
3 Put the carrot, onion, thyme, juniper berries and bay leaves into a heavy roasting tin, then place the venison on top. Roast in the oven for 1¼ hours.
4 Meanwhile, crush half the blackberries in a bowl with the back of a fork, then spoon them over the haunch. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
5 Remove the venison from the oven, take it out of the roasting tin and set aside to rest on a chopping board. Strain the cooking juices into a bowl, discarding the vegetables and juniper berries.
6 Place the tin over a medium heat and add the red wine, stirring up all the sediment on the bottom of the pan. Add the beef stock and reserved cooking juices and bring to the boil.
7 Add the rest of the blackberries, return to the boil, then whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and pour into a gravy boat. Slice the venison and serve.
Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from Slow