Sika Venison Backstrap

Preparation Time:

15 mins

Cooking Time:

20 - 30 mins



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This recipe was cooked for us at Odette's in Primrose Hill, North London recently. We had stalked and shot the Sika earlier in the week. Tom paid true homage to this wonderful deer. The backstrap was served with crushed celeriac, (which is a good alternative to potatoes) pickled red cabbage and Cavolo Nero. They balanced perfectly, do not be put off by the large list of ingredients.


Venision Backstrap (120g-150g)

  • 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 20g Butter
  • Thyme/Garlic/Bay Leaf tied together

Crushed Celeriac

  • 1 Small Celeriac (finely chopped)
  • 50g Butter
  • 1 Bay leaf, Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 50ml Water

Pickled Red Cabbage

  • 1 Small red cabbage (finely chopped)
  • 400ml Red wine vinegar
  • 200ml Red wine
  • 200g Brown sugar
  • 200ml Apple juice
  • 1 Star Annis, 1 Cinnamon stick, 1 clove, Small sprig of Thyme, 1 Clove garlic, Bay leaf, Salt & Pepper

Cavolo Nero

  • 100g Cavolo Nero
  • Salted boiling water
  • Venison Sauce
  • 200ml Venison stock
  • 2 Crushed juniper berries
  • 50ml Red wine
  • 50ml Port
  • Half star anise


1. A good butcher will prepare the backstrap for you. Allow 15 minutes for the preparation of your vegetables. The rest of the dish takes no prep at all.

2. Season the venison and heat a frying pan with the oil until it is smoking hot. Add the venison, butter and herbs. Baste the venison with the hot butter as you turn the venison around until you get an even golden colour. Once sealed, and lightly golden, take the venison out of the pan and put into an oven (160 degrees Centigrade)

3. While the venison is in the oven begin to prepare the celeriac and picked cabbage. Chop the celeriac into small cubes, put into a small pan and cover with water, add the butter and bayleaf, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to the boil, turn the heat down to simmer until reduced to hardly any water left. Turn the heat off, the residue heat will finish cooking the celeriac which can then be crushed with spoon or potato masher. Season and add some nutmeg.

4. Combine all the other ingredients, less the cabbage, to make your own pickling liquid. Bring to the boil and pour the liquid over the cabbage in a separate pan and bring back to the boil. Cook on a high heat for 4-5 mins to allow the pickling liquid to be absorbed by the cabbage and reduce down and then take it off the heat.

5. Check the venison in the oven, using whatever method you use to assess whether it is rare, medium or well done. A thermometer that you can skewer into the meat is pretty consistent. Rest the venison for 4-5 minutes while you finish the sauce.

6. The cavolo nero is simply blanched in the salted water.

7. Lets start the sauce. Heat the pan and add the juniper berries and star anise. Do not burn them, just 'toast' them to release the oils. Add the wine, port and thyme and reduce. Add the venison stock (if you do not have venison stock, use a beef stock cube). Bring back to the boil and reduce by half.

8. Plating up, as they say. Serve the celeriac on the plate, with 2-3 slices of medium rare venison on top. The red cabbage on the side. The long leafed cavolo nero over the top of the venison with the hot sauce around all ingredients.

It is magical. Tender venison, sweet\sour cabbage, lovely buttery celeriac and the sauce finished it wonderfully. Watch the video (Venison at Odettes) in our gallery if you need inspiration!