4 x 150g-200g venison steaks
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp juniper berries, crushed
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary
For the layered potato
4-6 large potatoes, sliced thinly
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
¾ pint hot chicken stock
100g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
And the rest...
1 tsp minced garlic
4 plums, halved and stoned
2 tbsp caster sugar
Marinade the venison in the garlic, juniper, thyme and rosemary and leave, covered in the fridge for a few hours or better, overnight.
Remove from the fridge and set aside an hour or so before cooking so that it comes to temperature.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and allow it to bubble, add the onions and 1tsp salt.
Cook for 5-10 minutes until they start to soften. Add the thyme, garlic and bay and continue cooking slowly, stirring occasionally for around 45 minutes until they are well caramelised. Remove the bay leaf and set aside.
Thinly slice the potatoes and using a thick, deep casserole dish, around 10x6 inches (25x15cm). Layer the potatoes and onions alternately, lightly seasoning each layer as you go.
Gently pour the chicken stock over then place the remaining butter on top in little pieces scattered around.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for 30-45 mins until soft and golden. Check by inserting a knife into the centre - the potato should give way easily and you should feel no resistance as you pierce the layers.
Remove from the oven and set aside. It’s a good idea to allow the potato to rest for a while so it can soak up the stock, making it easier to serve, but don’t refrigerate. Turn the oven up to 200°C.
For the venison, heat a heavy, thick bottomed frying pan with 3 tbsp or 4 tbsp cooking oil until very hot. Season the venison with salt and pepper and sear very quickly all over until well browned.
Remove onto a baking tray. Add a knob of butter to the pan, melt and pour over the venison.
Place in the oven and cook for roughly 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steaks.
Remove from the oven, and place on a clean plate. Set aside, very lightly covered with foil. Turn the grill on high.
For the plums, place cut side down in the sugar to evenly coat. Place on a baking tray, sugar facing upwards and grill until caramelised and soft.
In the meantime bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the kale until al dente. Drain and saute with the remaining garlic and a little salt and pepper.
To serve, reheat the potato for a few minutes. Scoop out a portion onto the plates and place the kale to the side. Slice the venison against the grain (this ensures the fibres of the meat are shorter, making it easier to chew, thus more tender) and place on top of the kale.
The plums go to the side of the venison. The juices from the venison and plum can act as a little jus.