Red Tussock Venison Loin with Parsnip Puree and Baby Beets

3:05 pm on 12 August 2016

Serves 4. Preparation time 1 hour / Cooking time 1 hour

Equipment you will need

  • 2 handfuls of wood chips
  • pan with lid for home-made smoker
  • One aluminium foil tray about 16cms that will fit in the base of your pan
  • Julienne peeler or vegetable peeler for the parsnip chips
  • Optional: Edible gold powder (available from good cake decorating shops)

Cooking tip - Before you start cooking, make sure you have all the ingredients, prepared and chopped and the secret is to keep the prepared elements warm.


  • 8 baby beetroots, trimmed
  • 4 shallots, halved
  • Salt to season
  • 9 sprigs of thyme, leaves only (remove leaves from the stems by sliding a fork along the stem)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups chicken stock, heated
  • 1 parsnip, cut in ribbons using a vegetable peeler or julienne peeler
  • spray oil
  • 75g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 4 x 160g red tussock venison loin at room temperature
  • oil for browning venison
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • Optional: Edible gold powder


To make your smoker, place a sheet of aluminium foil in the base of a pan and scatter over the wood chips to cover the base. Take the aluminium foil tray and use a sharp knife to poke holes all over the surface of it. Place it over the wood chips. Place a layer of aluminium foil over the pan before setting the lid on top, to prevent smoke from escaping. Your homemade smoker is ready, set to one side.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the beetroots on a baking tray with 4 shallots. Season with salt and add a third of the thyme leaves. Drizzle with oil.  Cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile place the parsnip ribbons on another baking tray. Spray with oil and after the beets have been cooking for 20 minutes, add the ribbons to the oven. Cook until golden and crispy. Keep warm.

Meanwhile place the diced parsnip in a pan with the stock and another third of thyme leaves. Bring to the boil and cook until tender – about 20 minutes. Drain keeping them in a little of the cooking water. Set to one side.

For the mushrooms, heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and cook the shallot and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes with the remaining thyme. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and cook for a further 3 minutes. Keep warm.

Warm the smoker by heating the pan over a medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes, then reduce the heat before adding the venison. Place the venison in the smoker for 5 minutes, covered with the foil and lid. Once you have finished smoking the venison, allow it to cool.

Heat another pan with a little oil and when hot, brown the venison steaks on all sides in the pan, 2 at a time. Transfer to an ovenproof tray and cook for 4 to 6 minutes. Medium – rare/pink is recommended.

Once the venison is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest while the rest of the dish is completed. 

Heat the venison pan with any reserved juices from the venison and the butter. Once melted, add the red wine. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook until the sauce has thickened.

Drain the parsnip and blend in a processor to form a smooth puree, using a little of the reserved stock if necessary. Toss the beetroot and shallots in honey. Thinly slice the venison. Sprinkle the parsnip ribbons with edible gold powder.

To serve, place some of the parsnip puree on the base of the plate, arrange a spoonful of the mushrooms at the side with the beets and shallots. Place the sliced venison on top of the puree. Drizzle with jus and serve topped with gold-dusted parsnip ribbons.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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