David Mutter

Loin of Deeside Venison with a Pithivier of Braised Haunch with Celeriac Purée and Cepes

David Mutter gave us this recipe when he was head chef at Darroch Learg Hotel & Restaurant in Ballater. He was awarded Hotel Chef of the Year 2005 at the Scottish Chef Awards and also Highly Commended at the same awards in the Chef of the Year category in 2006. He is now head chef at the Clachan Grill on Royal Deeside.

This dish represents the use of two parts of the deer, the better-known loin and the cheaper haunch. Each cut is dealt with very differently. The hot-pot adds a traditional British aspect as well as acting as a sauce for the dish.


4×6 oz Loins of Deeside venison trimmed
1 lb Haunch of Venison (off the bone)
1 lb Puff Pastry
1 Celeriac
10 oz Cepe Mushrooms
Salt and Pepper
4 pints Game Stock
¾ pint Full Fat Milk
4 tbs Double Cream

Braising Vegetables

4 oz Thyme
4 oz Carrots
4 oz Celery
4 oz Leeks
Half Bottle Red Wine
1 Bulb Garlic
Half Bottle Port Wine
¾ pint Milk


Stage 1

Heat Roasting tray
Wash and clean braising vegetables
Brown haunch in roasting tray
Add vegetables and deglaze with red wine and port
Add game stock or water and cook for 2-3 hours at 180 degrees C

Stage 2

Roll out puff pastry into 8x 5cm rings
Lay on a flat baking tray
Once meat is tender strain liquid and reduce over high heat
Shred the Haunch with a knife and fork then season
Add cooking liquor and leave to cool
Once cool put even amounts into centre of 4 pastry rounds
Brush the edges with egg and cover with 4 remaining pastry circles seal and chill in the fridge until needed

Stage 3

Wash and dice celeriac into 2cm pieces and cook gently in the milk
Seasoned with salt and pepper
Once tender liquidise with enough milk to give it the consistency of a smooth bread sauce
Season to taste and place on one side until needed

Stage 4

Clean and slice cepe mushrooms

Stage 5

Heat a heavy frying pan or skillet, when hot add the four loin portions
Seal until brown, season and add butter and transfer to a roasting dish
Place the roasting dish and the baking tray with the pithiviers in the oven for 8-10 minutes
Gently heat celeriac with the cream
Sauté the cepes in separate pan
Once venison is ready remove and leave to rest for 5 minutes

To Serve

Place a pastry pithivier at the top of each plate
Place a generous spoonful of celeriac at the bottom of each plate
Slice and season the venison loin and lay evenly over the celeriac
Liberally sprinkle the cepe mushrooms over whole dish
If confident make a rich game sauce with the trimmings and cover dish with this sauce.

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