Peppered venison with candied beets and pickled mushrooms

Venison and beetroot are the perfect marriage of flavours in this recipe by Nici Wickes, both being earthy and sweet, and when paired with pickled mushrooms, this is a meal for any occasion

By Nici Wickes
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
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  • 400 gram strip loin venison
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small candy beetroot (or regular beetroot), peeled
  • small handful of italian parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
Pickled mushrooms
  • 250 gram small button mushrooms, destalked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to season


  • 1
    Trim any silver skin (the shiny membrane) from the loin, as it becomes tough and shrinks on cooking. By removing it, the meat will cook evenly and not curl up.
  • 2
    Sprinkle the salt, pepper and rosemary on a chopping board, then roll the loin in it until coated on all sides. If not using immediately, wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
  • 3
    In a fry pan, heat olive oil to medium to hot. Sear the loin for about one minute on all sides – it should still feel quite “squidgy” when pressed. Cooked this way, venison will be rare (sear for slightly longer if you fancy it more cooked but remember, the best way to eat venison is rare if you like it tender and moist). Cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes so that the juices settle in the meat. Using a sharp knife and cutting on a diagonal, slice into 1.5-2cm thick slices.
  • 4
    Cut the beetroot into thin, translucent rounds using either a mandolin or sharp knife. Toss with parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
  • 5
    Lay the beetroot on each plate, top with neat slices of venison and scatter over the pickled mushrooms. Drizzle with extra olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature.
Pickled mushrooms
  • 6
    Sauté the mushrooms in the oil for 2-3 minutes in a small pan. Add the wine, then cover and simmer for another minute or two. Season, then set aside until required.


  • There’s a new beet on the block – candy beetroot! With startling stripes anda sweet and earthy flavour, it is best served raw. - Try it as a sophisticated entrée next time you throw a dinner party! (Serves 2 as a main, 4 as an entrée).

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