Members' Recipes Archive

July 2008
Venison Steaks with Tart Grape Purée
Nichola Fletcher

Venison Steaks with Tart Grape Purée

By: Nichola Fletcher

Serves: 4

Nichola Fletcher has worked with venison and other game meats for over thirty years. She loves to make people re-think their views on venison. Often considered a winter ingredient, she points out that until the 19th century, most venison was eaten in the summer and autumn. This is one of many light dishes from her major work Nichola Fletcher’s Ultimate Venison Cookery which has just won best single subject cookery book in the world at the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards. Nichola is also an artist, goldsmith and venison producer – an unusual combination of talents that give her a unique insight into the food world. Her previous book Charlemagne’s Tablecloth; A Piquant History of Feasting was shortlisted for Best Food Book in the 2005 Guild of Food Writers Awards. Signed copies of both her books are available from

Venison Steaks with Tart Grape Purée photographed by Nichola Fletcher

Venison Steaks with Tart Grape Purée photographed by Nichola Fletcher

Being so lean, venison is perfect for refreshing summer dishes. The purée has just the right balance of tart to sweet; it is really more of a relish than a sauce. As you don’t need very much it’s a good one for barbecues. For once, choose grapes that are not very sweet. Serve with chips or sauté potatoes and coriander glazed carrots. Any sort of tender venison steak may be used, e.g. thick-cut slices of haunch or loin, or whole fillets. Remember that thinner ones will cook more quickly.


4 x 180g venison steaks, 3-4 cm thick
2 small shallots, finely chopped
350g seedless green grapes, chopped
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
100ml dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander or parsley


To make the purée, soften the shallots in a little oil. Drain off excess oil and add the chopped grapes, wine vinegar and wine. Boil until the liquid has almost disappeared. At this stage you can either purée it or leave it as a chunkier relish. To purée, rub it though a small metal sieve, leaving only the grape skins behind. Both these can be made ahead if wished. Stir in the parsley or coriander just before serving.

To cook the steaks, heat some butter and oil in a frying pan and brown for 2 minutes per side. Lower the heat and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, then remove from the heat and rest them for 3-4 minutes or to taste. Serve with a small pool of the green grape purée.

Recipe from Nichola Fletcher’s Ultimate Venison Cookery.
More information on Nichola’s work may be seen on

© Recipe copyright 2008 Nichola Fletcher.


Author: Nichola Fletcher Email:

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