Venison, Chocolate and Root Vegetable Recipe from Mark Greenaway

Venison, Chocolate and Root Vegetables. Paul Johnston
  • 3 hrs 10 mins
  • Prep: 70 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4

 It is so easy to dismiss Scottish food as a plate of haggis or a bowl of porridge. Here is a recipe from super-talented Mark Greenaway  which is set to blow that misconception right out of the window.  He takes what some may describe as classic dishes and, with his magic touch, transforms them from what we once knew yet retaining the intrinsic textures and flavours. His restaurant in Edinburgh bears testament to this and in 2014 he was described as one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the UK. 

This venison, chocolate and root vegetable recipe comes from his book, Perceptions.  The philosophy behind the book is to challenge the perception of Scottish food forever by championing the world-class array of produce through fresh eyes, says Mark. Read here for more information about his book. 

The recipe is not for the faint-hearted but given the well-written and researched recipe, taken a step at a time, you will be able to produce this amazing dish at home, dazzling your family and friends with full-on restaurant cooking. 

What You'll Need

  • Parsley Pomme Purée
  • 4 large rooster potatoes
  • 175g butter
  • 75ml milk
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Shallot Rings
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 100ml milk
  • 60g plain flour
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • A pinch of sea salt 
  • Carrot Purée
  • 200g carrots (peeled and sliced)
  • 75g butter
  • 1 large shallot (peeled and diced)
  • 2 star anise
  • A splash of double cream
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • Sea salt
  • Salsify
  • 4 sticks of salsify (each measuring approximately 12cm in length)
  • 125ml butter emulsion  
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 stalk tarragon 
  • Venison
  • 1 x 600g
  • venison loin
  • A drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 60g butter 
  • Dark Chocolate Jus
  • 100ml red wine
  • 2l venison stock
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 30ml double cream
  • 40g 70% dark chocolate pistoles
  • 20g butter 
  • Baby carrots
  • 150ml
  • chicken stock
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 20g butter
  • 4 baby Carrots (peeled)
  • Celery
  • 2 sticks of celery (peeled)
  • To assemble
  • 24 70% dark chocolate pistoles 

How to Make It

Parsley Pomme Purée

  • Preheat the oven to 185C
  • Prick the potatoes all over with a fork
  • Place them on a layer of salt on a baking tray
  • Bake for 2 hours
  • Cut the potatoes in half
  • Scoop out the flesh and weigh out 400g
  • Mash the potato or pass it through drum sieve
  • Transfer to a pan
  • Melt the butter into the milk and pour slowly into the potatoes while stirring
  • Season with salt
  • Fold through the parsley and keep warm until required

    Shallot Rings

    • Slice the shallots as thinly as possible
    • Separate all the rings and discard the core or central rings
    • Soak the shallot rings in milk for 1 hour
    • Drain off the milk and pat the shallot rings dry
    • Douse in flour
    • Deep fry at 155°C until golden brown and crisp
    • Drain on absorbent paper and season lightly with salt

    Carrot Purée

    • Add the carrots, butter, star anise, shallots and a pinch of sea salt to a vacuum pack bag and seal on the highest setting
    • Simmer in a pan of boiling water for 40 minutes or until the carrots are have softened
    • Strain the liquid off the carrots and discard the star anise but keep all of the liquid
    • Blend the carrots in a blender on a medium speed until smooth and glossy adding the liquid back in as needed
    • Add the xanthan gum and continue to blend for a further 2-3 minutes
    • Add a splash of double cream if needed and blend till combined
    • Season to taste with sea salt
    • Pass through a fine sieve
    • Keep warm until required


    • Peel and wash the salsify well
    • Working quickly place the salsify in a vacuum pack bag*** and pour in the butter emulsion, garlic and tarragon
    • Vacuum pack tightly to expel all of the air
    • Cook in simmering water for 20 minutes or until the salsify is just tender


    • Preheat the oven to 200°C
    • Heat up a non-stick pan on a high heat until almost smoking
    • Oil the venison loin and season well with salt
    • Cook the venison in the pan until well coloured on each side
    • Place the pan in the oven and cook for 5 minutes, turning the venison half way through
    • Pull the pan out of the oven and add the butter  and place back over the heat
    • Baste the venison with the foaming butter and remove the venison from the pan
    • Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes
    • Cut the venison into 4 equal portions removing the end pieces 

    Dark Chocolate Jus

    • In a pan, reduce the red wine until it has almost evaporated
    • Add the chicken and venison stock and reduce down to 400ml
    • Remove from the heat and add the cream, chocolate and butter
    • Blend with a stick blender
    • Return to the heat and simmer gently for 5-7 minutes
    • Pass through a fine muslin cloth 

    Baby carrots

    • Bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer and add a pinch of salt and the butter
    • Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes
    • Pull the pan off the heat and allow the carrots to cool down naturally in the stock 


    •  Slice the celery as thinly as possible
    • Sprinkle with a touch of salt
    •  Set aside until require

    To assemble

    • Using hot plates, place a spoonful of the parsley pomme purée in the centre of each plate
    • Place the venison on top
    • Cut each carrot and salsify stick into 4 pieces each and place around the rim of the plates
    • Dot the carrot purée around the rim of the plate
    • Place on some chocolate pistoles which will melt naturally due to the heat of the plate
    • Rest the shallots and celery against the carrots and salsify
    • Serve the jus separately for the guests to pour themselves

    If you do not have a vacuum packer, use a good-quality zip-loc bag making sure remove as much air as possible before cooking.