Twenty Seven Steps Special: Tai Tapu venison tenderloin

27 Steps, Chch, 2020, Venison

Serve with Dog Point Pinot Noir

This venison tenderloin is served with beet and blackberry puree; potato, fennel and olive gratin;  winter vegetables, and jus. It’s one of Emma’s favourites.

Venison (tenderloin cut)


  • 5 juniper berries
  • 4 sprig thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Put ingredients into a mortar and mix until you have a paste. Mix the paste and venison meat, and marinate for 1-2 hours.

Heat a pan or grill to 250°C. Sear the meat for three minutes on each side until it’s coloured; season with salt and pepper. Let rest for 7 minutes

Beetroot and blackberry puree


  • 1 purple beetroot (150g)
  • 125g blackberries
  • 75ml red wine
  • 75ml Port
  • 25ml sherry vinegar


Peel and grate the beetroot. Place in a pan with all the ingredients. Bring to a vigorous boil, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until the beetroot is very soft and the mixture has reduced to a jam-like consistency.

Transfer into a blender and blitz until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and season to taste. Leave in a clean pan, ready to reheat for serving.

Potato, fennel, and olive gratin


  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 450g potato, peeled and thinly sliced 3-4mm thick (Twenty Seven Steps uses Agria)
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives
  • ¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ¼ cup grated cheese (Gruyere, aged Gouda or Swiss are all good)


Preheat oven to 200°C. Remove outer leaves from the fennel and discard. Then, chop and reserve the fennel fronds. Cut the fennel into quarters, remove and discard the core, and slice thinly.

Melt half the butter in a saucepan and add the fennel and onion, and fry gently for 10 minutes, until the fennel begins to soften. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes.

Grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Start with a layer of potato, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as you go. Add a layer of fennel, fennel fronds, and olives. Repeat this process until you have no more ingredients, and finish with a layer of potato. Pour over the stock and cream, scatter with cheese and the remaining butter.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until soft. Serve with reserved fennel fronds.

Winter vegetables

Ingredients: use carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or whatever you have on hand!


Blanch vegetable for 5 minutes in boiling water. Sauté in butter and season to taste.



  • venison stock (can substitute for readymade stock)
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2kg venison bones
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2L red wine

Heat oven to 180°C. Roast the bones, garlic, onion and celery for 4 hours, until deep brown.

Transfer into a stock pot and pour in red wine. Add 500ml water and cook for 1 hour.

Remove bones, strain the liquid and continue to simmer for approx. 2 hours, or until the mixture has reduced by half. (If using instant stock, take equal parts of stock and wine and simmer until reduced by half).

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