Lyme Park braised venison with sage and onion mash

Main courses

  • Serves: 6
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Lyme Park © National Trust / Lyme Park

Lyme Park


  • 6 venison leg steaks
  • 500ml red wine
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2kg potatoes - floury
  • 3 eating apples - Cox are good
  • ¼ bunch fresh sage - chopped
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 50ml apple juice
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 75g butter
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • Salt & pepper


For the meat:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / gas 4
  2. Season the venison steaks with salt & pepper and allow to stand for 30mins.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy bottom sauté pan.
  4. Place the steaks into the pan to quickly brown the meat – cook for no more than 1 minute each side.
  5. Remove from the pan and place the steaks in a deep casserole pot.
  6. Take one of the onions and gently fry in the pan with the meat juices.
  7. Once softened add the red wine together with the thyme, rosemary and garlic, gently bring to the boil.
  8. Add the wine mix to the venison casserole dish.
  9. The stock should just cover the steaks, if more liquid is required add a little more wine or stock.
  10. Cook in middle of oven for 1½ hours until the meat is tender.

For the mash:

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into even sized chunks, put into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and cover in cold water.
  2. Place on the heat and bring the water to boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  3. Whilst the potatoes cook prepare the onion - sauté over a low heat in 25g butter until softened and beginning to colour, add the chopped fresh sage, coating in the butter – turn off the heat and set aside.
  4. When the potatoes are cooked, drain and return to the pan & heat to ‘dry’ for a minute.
  5. Add 35g butter and salt & pepper to taste,  mash well but do not over beat as this can make the potatoes ‘starchy’.
  6. Add the cooked onion and sage and fold into the potatoes.
  7. Keep warm.

To finish:

  1. Slice the apples into chunk wedges and remove the core.
  2. Heat the remaining butter in a heavy bottom saucepan. When the butter is melted and starting to bubble add the apple slices, allow to begin to colour before sprinkling over the brown sugar toss to coat and evenly cook.
  3. Finally add the apple juice to the pan keep over a medium heat allowing the juice to reduce to syrup and the apples to soften.
  4. Remove the venison casserole pot from the oven and strain off the wine.
  5. Put the strained wine and beef stock into a saucepan, place over a high heat and bring to the boil – allow to simmer until the sauce has thickened to a gravy consistency.
  6. To serve, divide the sage and onion mash between 6 serving plates, place a venison steak on each plate, coat with the red wine gravy and garnish with the caramelised apple slices.