Fillet of Venison Salad with Thai Dressing
This makes a beautiful centrepiece on a summer table - especially when arranged on a large platter. It needs nothing more than a noodle salad to transform it into a feast. Everything can be prepared ahead (even the day before) to be assembled at the last moment.
750g piece venison fillet/ olive oil/ 175 g fine French beans, trimmed
3 hard-boiled eggs/ about 20cm piece of cucumber, peeled and cut into long wedges
250g ripe tomatoes, quartered/ 75g Greek-style black olives (the wrinkled ones)
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper. Venison marinade: 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice/ 2 tbsp olive oil/ 2 garlic cloves. Crushed
Thai dressing: 2 tbsp fish sauce/ 3 tbsp lime juice/ 2 tbsp light soy sauce/ 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce/ 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
To prepare the venison marinade, mix the lime juice, the 2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a non-metal dish. Add the venison and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or longer.
To cook the venison, heat another 2 tbsps olive oil in a heavy roasting tin or frying pan on top of the stove until smoking. Lift the venison out of the marinade, pat dry and quickly sear well all over until nicely browned. Transfer to a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 and roast for 15-18 minutes for medium rare. Remove from the oven and transfer the venison to a plate to cool.
To make the dressing, put the fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, chilli sauce and coriander in a bowl, whisk well, then set aside to infuse. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the beans and blanch for 4 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water, then set aside.
Peel the eggs and cut them in quarters. Heat the dressing and keep it warm. Toss the beans, cucumber, tomatoes and olives with half the dressing and pile on a flat serving platter.
Cut the venison in slices and lay them on top of the vegetables. Dot the eggs all around, spoon over the remaining dressing and grind pepper on top before serving.