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Saddle of Venison with Cherry Sauce

490 calories per serving

ingredients

serves 8
1.5 kg (3 lb) young saddle of venison
3 juniper berries, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt
3 tablespoons clarified butter
100 g (4 oz) thin, rindless rashers fat bacon
450 ml (3/4 pint) game stock
450 g (1 lb) bottled morello cherries
1 tablespoon cornflour
3 tablespoons cherry liqueur
orange slices to garnish

method

1. Remove the skin from the venison, then rub the meat with the crushed juniper berries and the thyme. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Rub the meat dry and season with salt.

2. Melt the clarified butter in a roasting tin on the hob and seal the meat thoroughly. Lay the bacon over the meat and roast on the second shelf from the bottom of a hot oven (220‚°C, 425‚°F, gas 7) for 35 – 45 minutes.

3. After 10 minutes of cooking time, pour 250 ml (8 fl oz) of the stock into the tin and stir with the roasting juices. Baste the venison every 8 minutes, adding more stock to the tin as and when necessary.

4. After 30 minutes, remove the bacon and press the meat with your finger to check whether it is cooked. If the meat gives slightly under pressure and returns to its original shape it is cooked through, but will still be slightly pink at the centre.

5. Turn off the oven when the meat is cooked, but wait 15 minutes before carving the venison.

6. Meanwhile, drain the cherries, then dissolve the cornflour in the cherry juice and bring to the boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the cherries and liqueur and add the mixture to the roasting juices.

7. Serve the venison with orange slices and the cherry sauce.

Serve with: Potato Dumplings