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Recipe for family meals :

Fiona Bird's Collops of Wild Red Venison with Bramble Sauce

This recipe for Collops of Wild Red Venison with Bramble Sauce comes from Fiona Bird of Stirrin'Stuff.

Stirrin'Stuff is a campaign (based in Scotland but working across the UK) to encourage children in the practical skills of preparing food - aiming for enquiring minds, active skills, discriminating tongues, family bonding and healthy diets.

Fi Bird is a mother of six and a past Masterchef finalist who has always had a passion for cooking. She is self taught with an approach to food based on knowledge of tight budgets and limited time. When, time permits she will complete an MSc in food policy. A member of the Guild of Food Writers, Fi has written extensively - articles, recipes and as a campaigner both for healthier diets and for cookery teaching at Primary schools. Fi and Dr Stephen Bird are the founders of Stirrin'Stuff which works in partnerships, to educate children about food. Stirrin'Stuff is committed to sustainable development and ethical best practice. Fi develops recipes for Tern television and writes for Country Kitchen Magazine, Green Parent, Organiclife and an occasional parenting column in the Scotsman. Fi and her daughter, Lili Bird have a fortnightly mother and daughter food column, in the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

Dr Bird has recently completed a course in human nutrition and Fi, a children's cookery book, to be published by Barefoot Books in September 2008.

Ingredients for Collops of Wild Red Venison

450g / 1lb boned saddle of wild red venison
450g / 1lb venison stock (made from the saddle bones)
30ml / 2tbsp hazelnut oil
5 - 6 juniper berries, crushed
sprigs of thyme
15ml / 1tbsp olive oil
50g / 2oz butter
1 large glass red wine
22ml / 1 1/2 tbsp bramble jelly

How to make Collops of Wild Red Venison

  • Cut the venison into collops, (i.e. 5mm / 1/4 inch slices of rump fillet). Scatter with the juniper berries and thyme and pour over the hazelnut oil. Cover and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours
  • Heat the oil and 1oz of butter in a frying pan, sear the collops quickly on each side, reserve the pan juices.
  • Place the collops in an ovenproof dish and cook for 5 - 10 minutes in a moderate oven (180ºC / 350ºF / Gas 4).
  • Add the wine to the reserved pan juices and reduce by a half, add the stock and reduce again. Add the bramble jelly to melt and finally add 1oz of butter. Season well.
  • Serve the collops with the sauce poured over.

© Fiona Bird December 2001