Venison Roast with Pepper Crust, with Kumara & Beetroot Salad

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Venison is one of those meats that pairs beautifully with several flavours, and one of my favourite combinations is venison with beetroot and kumara. Aaron Ballantyne, head chef at multi award-winning Nelson restaurant Hopgoods has taken this exact combination and made it utterly delicious, using venison from Silver Fern Farms.

When preparing this, it’s a good idea to make the pepper crust well in advance, then make the salad. The venison needs to be beautifully rare when served.

Aaron has provided a recipe for tamarillo relish, but if you’re short on time, Aaron suggests Tamco Tamarillo Relish, Barker’s Plum Sauce or Barker’s Farmstyle Plum and Tamarillo Chutney. Or check the stalls at your local farmers market!

Silver Fern Farms Venison Roast with pepper crust and kumara, beetroot salad



Serves:  4


  • 1 packet Silver Fern Farms Venison Roast, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pepper spice rub
  • olive oil to drizzle

Pepper spice rub for venison:

  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 8 juniper berries, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground coffee beans
  • ¼ teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • good pinch flaky salt


Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container until ready to prepare the meat.

Honey kumara & beetroot salad

  • 2 orange kumara, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 2 medium-sized beetroot
  • 4 handfuls mixed salad leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 handful fresh walnut pieces, toasted


Preheat the oven to 180°C.  Line a shallow roasting tray with baking paper.

Place the sliced kumara and onion wedges in the prepared tray and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle over the honey, 1 tablespoon oil and the melted butter. Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender and golden.

Meanwhile, place the beetroot in a saucepan of lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes until tender. (This depends on the size of the beetroot). Drain and remove the skin under running cold water. Cut beetroot into wedges and drizzle with the remaining oil and season.

Remove kumara from the oven and set aside with the beetroot in a warm place while you cook the venison.

To make the venison

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Roll the venison in the spice rub to coat evenly. Drizzle over a little oil. Heat a fry-pan over a high heat and sear the roast for two to three minutes each side. Transfer venison to a small roasting dish. Roast in a hot oven for 16 minutes until medium-rare. Remove meat from the oven, cover with baking paper or foil and a clean tea towel. Leave to rest while you finish the salad, at least 10 minutes.

To serve

Place the kumara, onion, beetroot and salad leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle over the lemon juice and gently toss to combine. Crumble over the goat’s cheese and add the toasted walnuts. Place on a large serving platter. Slice the venison across the grain and place on the salad. Serve with tamarillo or plum relish or chutney or spoon over dressing or sauce if using this option.



Tamarillo dressing

  • 1 tamarillo, blanched and peeled
  • 125ml port
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped picked thyme leaves
  • 125ml extra virgin olive oil

Chop the tamarillo into small dice and place in a bowl. Pour the port into a small saucepan with the honey and place over medium heat.

Reduce port by half, then remove from the heat and add the diced tamarillo. Add the vinegar, mustard and thyme. Slowly whisk in the oil to mix together. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle.




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