Ingredients

For the venison

  • 4 x 150-200g venison steaks (from the saddle or haunch)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary

For the layered potato

  • 4-6 large désirée potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¾ pint hot chicken stock
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • Kale
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 plums, halved and stoned
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

Method

  1. Marinade the venison in the garlic, juniper, thyme and rosemary and leave, covered in the fridge for a few hours or better overnight. Remove from the fridge and set aside an hour or so before cooking so that it comes to temperature.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and allow it to bubble, add the onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Add the thyme, garlic and bay and continue cooking slowly, stirring occasionally for around 45 minutes until they are well caramelised. Remove the bay leaf and set aside.
  4. Thinly slice the potatoes and using a thick, deep casserole dish around 10"x6" layer the potatoes and onions alternately, lightly seasoning each layer as you go.
  5. Gently pour the chicken stock over then place the remaining butter on top in little pieces scattered around. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 30-45 minutes until soft and golden. Check by inserting a knife into the centre – the potato should give way easily and you should feel no resistance as you pierce the layers.
  6. Remove from the oven and set aside. It's a good idea to allow the potato to rest for a while so it can soak up the stock, making it easier to serve, but don't refrigerate.
  7. Turn the oven up to 200C.
  8. For the venison, heat a heavy, thick bottomed frying pan with 3 or 4 tbsp cooking oil until very hot. Season the venison with salt and pepper and sear very quickly all over until well browned. Move to a baking tray.
  9. Add a knob of butter to the pan, melt and pour over the venison. Place in the oven and cook for roughly 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks.
  10. Remove from the oven, and place on a clean plate. Set aside, very lightly covered with foil.
  11. Turn the grill on high.
  12. For the plums, place cut side down in the sugar to evenly coat. Place on a baking tray, sugar facing upwards and grill until caramelised and soft.
  13. In the meantime, bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the kale until al dente. Drain and saute with the remaining garlic and a little salt and pepper. 
  14. To serve, reheat the potato for a few minutes. Scoop out a portion onto the plates and place the kale to the side. Slice the venison against the grain (this ensures the fibres of the meat are shorter, making it easier to chew, thus more tender) and place on top of the kale. The plums go to the side of the venison. The juices from the venison and plum acts as a little jus.

Recipe by chef Cameron Emirali, chef and co-owner of 10 Greek Street and 8 Hoxton Square. Photography by Ella Singleton.