Venison and Haggis Wellington

This is a real showstopper of a dinner party dish that is a fantastic alternative to the usual Haggis, Neeps & Tatties on Burns night. Venison is healthy, protein-rich and highly sustainable. Carving the wellington at the table brings a bit of theatre to proceedings too.

Ingredients

  • 800g Venison Striploin
  • 200g Haggis
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms (diced)
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms (finely diced)
  • 1 large banana shallot (chopped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 block of puff pastry
  • 2 Egg yolks, for brushing pastry

For the Marinade

  • 8-10 juniper berries
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 head of garlic cut in half
  • Rapeseed oil

For the Pancake Batter

  • 55g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 100ml semi skimmed milk
  • Pinch of salt

 

Step 1. Trim the thin ends off the venison, to ensure that it will cook evenly. Place the venison in a baking tray with all the marinade ingredients, cover and leave in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours but preferably overnight.

 

Step 2. Heat a splash of rapeseed oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan to the point where it's almost smoking. Brush the marinade off the venison, season with salt & pepper and place in the pan for 3-4 minutes. The idea is to colour all sides evenly whilst keeping the loin very rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and allow meat to cool.

 

Step 3. Lay out a rectangle of cling film that is at least 5 inches longer than the striploin. Place the meat on the nearest edge of the cling film and roll away from you as if you were rolling up a sleeping bag and ensure that the meat is wrapped up as tight as possible. Twist the ends of the cling film so the meat is in a nice cylindrical shape (this will help the meat cooks evenly in the oven) then leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

 

For the Duxelles

Step 4. In a large frying pan, sweat the garlic and shallots in a tiny amount of oil over a gentle heat. After a few minutes add the haggis. Once the haggis has started to colour throw in all the mushrooms, season generously with salt and pepper and cook until all the moisture has cooked away. Check the seasoning as this is your last opportunity to adjust it then set aside and leave to cool.

 

For the Pancakes

Step 5. Combine all the batter ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Heat a touch of oil in a non-stick pan and ladle in enough batter to ensure that the base of the pan is thinly covered. Cook for 2 minutes on each side then wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm until required. The pancake is a buffer between the venison and the pastry to help avoid get soggy sogginess so make sure you have enough pancake to wrap round the entire striploin.

 

To Construct the Wellington

Step 6. Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas mark 6/ 400F. Roll out the puff pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and place the pancake in the centre. Spread the haggis and mushroom duxelles generously over the pancake and, after removing the cling film, place the venison in the middle. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg yolks and roll up, sealing the edges with egg wash.

Step 7. Use the back of a knife to carve any decoration of your choosing into the pastry but be careful not to cut all the way through. Brush the wellington with egg yolk before sprinkling some flakes of salt on top and place onto a parchment lined baking tray and in the oven.

Step 8. Check the wellington after 25 minutes. If using a meat thermometer then you're looking for a temp of 50C or place a thin metal skewer in the centre of the venison and touch it against your top lip. It should be slightly warm and the pastry should be a lovely puffed up golden brown.

Step 9. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before carving. We like to serve ours with whisky-glazed carrots and an ale & bramble gravy.

 

Liked this recipe? Check out Dram & Smoke the creators of this dish:

Dram & Smoke