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Venison, lemon and capers

This incredibly simple take on carpaccio, which looks amazing and tastes fantastic, is a glorious way to use venison. We like to serve it as a starter for a winter feast – you could even bring it out for Christmas dinner.


Heat a frying pan over a high heat until searing hot. Massage the venison fillet lightly with olive oil, then season well with salt and pepper, and the chopped thyme, if using. Place in the hot pan, leave for about 30 seconds, then turn over. You want to cook only the outer surface of the meat, so keep the heat really high and have the loin in the pan for no more than a couple of minutes, turning it regularly so all sides are browned.

Remove the venison from the pan and set aside to rest on a board for 15-30 minutes, before you slice it.

For the dressing, just stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, then taste for seasoning. It will need pepper, but not necessarily salt because the capers are already salty.

Slice the venison into slivers, about 3mm thick, and arrange on serving plates. Pile the salad leaves into side bowls. Whisk the dressing again and trickle it over the meat and leaves. Serve straight away.

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  • About 500g venison loin fillet in one piece, well trimmed
  • A little olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

  • 2 tablespoons baby capers, rinsed and drained
  • Finely grated zest of 1-2 lemon and 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • Seasonal salad leaves

This recipe is taken from...

Hugh’s Three Good Things