Venison Carpaccio With Roquette and Beetroot Tossed In Juniper Oil

This is a sophisticated and very easy starter to whip together – just get the beetroot on and the rest takes no time at all. It’s also a great way to convert people to the delights of venison, which has a cleaner flavour than beef.

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 35 minutes to 50 minutes

500g beetroot
10 juniper berries
125ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp sherry vinegar
400g venison steak (fillet)
1 lemon
200g roquette
25g Pecorino, grated


Slice the leaves off the beetroot, leaving 2cm of the stem. Put in a large pan of salted, boiling water and simmer for 30–50 minutes, depending on the size of the beetroot, until tender. Meanwhile, blitz the juniper berries, 75ml olive oil and the sea salt in a blender. Add the vinegar and black pepper, to taste. When the beetroot are tender, drain and slip off the skins (wear rubber gloves to do this). Cut into 1cm cubes and, while still hot, toss in the juniper dressing.

Half an hour before serving, place the venison in the deep freeze to chill it and make slicing easier. Remove and slice it wafer thin, then divide it between 6 plates. Toss the rocket in the remaining olive oil and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Arrange small bundles of the rocket on each plate with spoonfuls of the diced beetroot. Sprinkle with the grated Pecorino.

Recipe courtesy of Waitrose
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