The second in our series using ethically sourced venison from Discovered Wildfoods: a BBQed eye fillet. We've kept it simple – seared over coals and served with charred organic Dutch carrots, a savoury blueberry sauce and a glass of Cab Sav. Perfect for the changing of the seasons.
1. If you’re using a coal bbq, now is the time to get it cranking. Bash up the thyme and juniper berries in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Loosen with 2 good lugs of olive oil. Pat the venison dry with some kitchen paper, and rub the oil mixture all over it.
2. Place a small pan over a low heat and melt a knob of butter with a clove of crushed garlic and a few sprigs of thyme. Sear the meat in a separate hot pan, or over coals on the bbq, on all sides, for roughly 6 minutes for medium rare. The venison fillet is a very lean cut of meat so brushing the meat with the melted butter will aid with getting a nice crust which will seal in the juices. Depending on the thickness of the meat and the heat of the pan/BBQ, it may need a little less or more time so use your intuition and feel the meat as you cook it. Remove it from the pan when it’s cooked to your liking and allow it to rest on a plate while you cook your carrots and make your sauce.
3. Reduce the heat under the pan (or place a small pan on your bbq) and add a good lug of oil. Add the shallots and one clove of minced garlic and fry gently for around 3 minutes until translucent and tender. Turn up the heat again, add the wine, and let it reduce by half. Add the blueberries and simmer slowly for 4 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, and jiggle and shake the pan around so the sauce goes slightly opaque and shiny. Season to taste.
4. Add the honey to your melted butter pan. Place the carrots on the bbq or in the venison pan and cook over high heat. Brush the carrots with the honey butter and season with salt and pepper. As we have not precooked the carrots they will be quite crunchy, just make sure to take them quite far and get a good char on them (3-5 minutes). Set aside when you’re happy.
5. Slice the venison into 2cm slices and serve with your burnt carrots. Add the meat’s resting juices to the sauce and spoon over the venison.