Venison Salad with fig Purée

Michael Caines



4 venison fillets, or 240g saddle of venison

salt and freshly ground black pepper

70g unsalted butter

vegetable oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

120g mixed wild mushrooms

vegetable oil vinaigrette

chopped fresh parsley

60g mixed salad leaves

Fig purée:

300g whole ripe black figs

20g unsalted butter

a pinch of Chinese five-spice

30ml port


200ml vegetable or groundnut oil

70ml champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

1 clove of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

1 sprig of fresh thyme




Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together well. Pour into a glass or plastic bottle, or an old jam jar with a lid. Leave for 12 hours. 

Shake well before using.

Fig purée:

Cut the figs in half and scoop out the flesh. Heat the butter until it foams, then add the five-spice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fig flesh and port, and cook for 10–15 minutes. Transfer to a blender, blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve. Finish with butter and then season. Place in a plastic bottle or container and keep warm.


Season the venison. Heat 20g of butter with a little oil in a heavy-based pan. Then add the venison and cook, colouring it on all sides. Once cooked (about 10 minutes), remove from the pan and leave to rest for 15 minutes.


Melt 20g of butter in the pan, add the shallots and cook for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, then place a lid on top and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Add the fig purée. Whisk in the remaining butter, add some vinaigrette, and finish with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.