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    Rack of venison with soft-herb crust and juniper jus

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    Rack of venison with soft-herb crust and juniper jus

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus resting
    • Cooking time: 40 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes, plus resting

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    1.15kg venison rack*

    SOFT-HERB CRUST
    45g panko breadcrumbs
    125g mixed soft herbs (such as parsley, thyme and chives)
    20g gruyère cheese, finely grated
    40g unsalted butter, softened

    JUNIPER JUS
    300ml red wine
    200ml Waitrose 1 demi-glace meat stock
    30g unsalted butter
    1 strip pared orange zest
    3 juniper berries, crushed
    2 squares (about 25g) dark chocolate (70% cocoa)

    * Available from waitrose.com/entertaining

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Take the venison out of the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature. For the herb crust, blend the breadcrumbs and soft herbs in a food processor until fi nely chopped and the breadcrumbs turn green. Add the cheese and continue to blend. Finally, season and add the butter until you have a smooth paste. Place between 2 sheets of baking parchment and, using a rolling pin, roll out to roughly the shape of your venison rack and about 0.5cm thick. Chill until needed.

    2. Using a sharp knife, trim away any sinew and silverskin (membrane) from the venison. Lightly season on all sides with salt, then put in a roasting tin. Roast the venison for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and cover with foil.

    3. While the venison is roasting, make the jus. In a small pan, reduce the red wine by half. Add the demi-glace and reduce further until the jus thickens slightly. Finish with the butter, then add the orange zest, juniper and chocolate. Stir and set aside.

    4. When the jus is ready, take the resting venison and brush all over with some of the jus. Take the herb crust out of the fridge and use it to cover the exposed top of the meat, pressing on the crust to cover evenly. Roast for another 15-20 minutes – the herb crust should be lightly browned and clinging to the venison. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil.

    5. To serve, cut the venison into chops and serve with a little of the reheated jus drizzled over. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, November 2017 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue.

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