on Black Rice Pilaf with Cumberland Sauce

Prep time: 20 mins    Cook time: 50 mins    Serves: 4


600g venison backstrap

1 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper, to season

40g butter


2 tbs olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

100g Swiss brown mushrooms, quartered

100g cup mushrooms, quartered

200g black rice, washed

600ml chicken stock

3 tbs finely chopped parsley, plus extra, to serve

1 tbs thyme leaves

80g chopped pistachios, toasted

35g craisins

Cumberland Sauce

1 tbs olive oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

125ml port

1 orange, zested, juiced

1/2 lemon, zested

80g blackberry jam

120ml beef stock

1tbs butter

1/2 tsp mustard powder

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger


  1. To make pilaf, heat oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. Stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 or minutes or until browned and liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for 35-40 minutes or until stock is absorbed and rice is tender.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
  4. o make sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add eschalot and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in port and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until reduced by half. Whisk in remaining ingredients and simmer, whisking often, for 6-8 minutes or until thickened and a glossy sauce forms. Strain into a jug. Season.
  5. Rub venison all over with oil and season.
  6. Preheat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add venison and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, adding butter to pan for last few minutes and basting. Transfer venison to a warm plate and set aside, lightly covered with foil, for 5 minutes to rest. Thickly slice.
  7. Divide pilaf among serving plates and top with venison. Drizzle over sauce and sprinkle over extra parsley to serve.