Pavè of wild venison with dirty mash, bone marrow and peppercorn sauce:

First make your mash – Bake 6 large Yukon Gold or similar potatoes in the oven until well baked. Spoon the contents of the spuds into a sieve one by one and push the potato through with a plastic dough scraper  – into a big pan with 1/4lb butter in lumps in the bottom. Take to the stove and put on a gentle heat. Mix well and ad heavy cream until the consistency is silky smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper if you have it. Any you don’t use will keep in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.

Now make your sauce. Finely chop 2 shallots and put in a pan with some butter and a knob of bone marrow. Allow the shallots to soften over a low heat. Add a splash of brandy and flambeé . Remove any unmelted marrow. Add in ½ glass red wine and reduce by half. Now add the best beef or venison stock you can get. Add about a pint.

(You can buy top class restaurant stock and finished glace ( as it is called ) online, and keep it in the freezer. To make it yourself is a long slow process  – so I advise you buy it. If you cant buy it, get good beef stock and reduce it until thick and rich. ) allow the sauce to reduce away by ½ then add a tablespoon of green peppercorns and a splash of heavy cream.

Take your Pavé steaks – about 200g/ 7oz each and put on an oven tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sit on rosemary sprigs. Place in a 100c / 230f  very low oven for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven. The idea is to get the internal temperature up to about 55c/140f very gently.

At the same time sprinkle toasted sourdough breadcrumbs mixed with finely chopped parsley onto the trough cut bone marrows – any butcher will do these for you. Place them in the same oven with the steaks.

Cook the cavolo nero for 3 minutes in salted water. Plunge into ice water to stop cooking.

When the steaks come up turn the oven up to really hot and let the marrows cook hot for the 6 minutes of resting time.

For the dirty mash

  • Waxy potatoes
  • Butter
  • Double cream

For the dirty mash, bake the potatoes in the skins for 90 minutes at 140 degrees sat on top of rock salt. Once cooked, scrape the flesh from the skin and pass through a ricer. Weigh the potato and then weigh 50% of that weight of salted butter. So for 1kg of potato you will need 500g cold butter, cubed. Add a small amount of cream to loosen the mix slightly over a hot stove then add the butter in small cubes one at a time beating together with a spatula. If the mash becomes greasy add a touch of milk to help emulsify. Do not get the mash hotter than 70 degrees otherwise the butter will spilt out. Once all the butter is emulsified, whisk the potato for 3 minutes to thicken up and taste. You can add milk and cream to your taste and consistency. The more you add the more whisking you will have to do to thicken the mash back up. Finally, top the mash with some gravy, croutons and truffle. 

Pipe the mash ( or spoon it!) onto one side of the plate and sprinkle with the crumb mix. Carve the pavè across the grain – it will be pink side to side but fully cooked. Carve at a diagonal. Toss the cavolo nero in a pan with butter and seasoning for a minute to warm it up then lay alongside the mash. Place the slice steak along the side of the cavolo nero then lay the bone marrow on the vegetable. Pour the sauce over the venison and around. YUM!