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Sumptuous festive cooking with Neil Forbes

As renowned chef Neil Forbes of Edinburgh’s iconic Cafe St Honore joins us in the EICC for Foodies Festival at Christmas, he shares with is the game recipe that’s perfect for festive winter dining.

Roasted Haunch of Roe Deer with Braised Red Cabbage, Golden Beetroot and Hazelnuts


Serves 2
Prep time: 30 minutes; cooking time: 2 hours

150g haunch of boned, sinew-free roe deer
¼ red cabbage
1 glass of good red wine
Zest from half an orange
1 tablespoon Californian raisins
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 small cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon of mixed spice
½ apple, grated
1 large golden beetroot
1 tablespoon hazelnuts, toasted
A few garlic cloves, halved
A few sprigs of thyme

2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
Good salt and pepper
100ml game or brown chicken stock

A knob of butter


1.Heat the oven to 180°C.  Scrub the beetroot, season with salt and pepper, wrap in foil and bake for 2 hours.

2. Shred the red cabbage and place it in a pot with the red wine, orange zest, cinnamon stick, mixed spice, grated apple, raisins, redcurrant jelly, sugar and seasoning. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook with a lid on for up to 2 hours stirring every 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove the beetroot from the oven and discard the foil. Remove the skin and cut the flesh into 4 or 6 pieces. Set to one side.

4. Season the roe deer with salt and pepper. Heat the rapeseed oil in a good frying pan, and  place the meat in the hot pan and fry carefully all over for a couple of minutes each side. Then add the thyme and bay leaves, and season again. Add the garlic and place the pan in the oven for a few minutes being careful not to overcook the meat.

5. When ready, the meat should give a little when pressed. If it’s overcooked the meat or will be tough as old boots! Remove the meat from the pan and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Add the beetroot to the still hot pan with the herbs and garlic and fry until just coloured on all sides.

7. Add the stock to the roasting pan and reduce for a few minutes to deglaze the pan juices. Stir in a knob of butter at the last minute to add some richness.

8. To serve, carve the venison and place on the plate with a spoonful of the red cabbage. Arrange the beetroot, herbs and garlic then sprinkle the hazelnuts all over. Finish with the sauce.

Grab your tickets to see Neil cook live in the Hoover Chefs Theatre at Foodies Festival in Edinburgh this winter.

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