Loin of wild venison, brussels sprouts, parsnip, hazelnuts

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, County Galway

600g venison loin
400g venison belly
300ml white wine
50g flour
50g egg yolk
50g breadcrumbs
2 large onions

3 large parsnips
6 baby parsnips
100ml double cream

200g brussels sprouts

500g hazelnuts
100ml rapeseed oil
30ml truffle oil
20g butter


Serves 4

Braise the venison belly with one sliced onion in 250ml of the wine in a saucepan over medium heat for 3½ hours until soft. Shred the meat and roll into small balls. Roll the balls first in the flour, then egg yolk, then breadcrumbs until covered. Deep fry at 180˚C for 5 minutes.

For the parsnips, thinly slice and sweat the second onion over a low heat without colouring. Peel and slice the large parsnips and add to the onion, continuing to sweat until the parsnip has softened. Add the cream and cook until soft, then blend to a smooth purée in a processor. Trim, wash, and cook the small parsnips in butter in a frying pan until soft; season with salt and pepper.

Peel the sprouts, keeping the most attractive outer leaves to dress the plate. Cut in half and fry cut side down in a little oil; don’t move the pan until a nice golden colour is achieved. Reduce the heat and add 50ml of the wine and a small knob of butter and cook until soft, adding the retained leaves at the last minute.

Roast the hazelnuts on a dry roasting tray at 180˚C for 4–5 minutes until golden. Blend three quarters of the nuts to a crumb, add the rapeseed and truffle oils, and season. Shape the hazelnut pesto into quenelles between 2 spoons. Keep the remaining hazelnuts for grating over the plate.

Roast the seasoned venison loin in a frying pan at a high heat in oil until nicely coloured. Finish in the oven at 180˚C for 4 minutes until medium rare, then rest for 5 minutes.