Adam Byatt’s Dinner for 2

Adam Byatt cooks up a storm with a Venison Wellington, Red Wine Sauce, Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait and a Quince and Almond Crumble

Venison Wellington


  • 400g prime middle loin venison
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 250g puff pastry (made with all butter)
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil, for greasing


  • 1 egg
  • 40g plain flour
  • 50ml milk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • Season the venison with salt and pepper. Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan until Place the venison in the pan and brown for 30 seconds on each side, making sure that the meat remains raw inside. Remove from the pan and place in the fridge to chill.
  • Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to the size of an A4 piece of paper and about 1/2cm thick. Place in the fridge to rest.
  • Make the pancakes. Crack the egg into a bowl, whisk in the flour until smooth, then pour in the milk and whisk to a light batter consistency. Cook 4 pancakes in a non-stick frying pan, using a small amount of vegetable oil. Transfer to a wire rack.
  • Cut the cauliflower lengthways through the centre into 4 slices, leaving the main stalk Lightly whisk the egg in a bowl to make an egg wash for the pastry.


  • Lay the pastry on a floured surface and cover with the pancakes. Place the cooled venison in the centre.
  • Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash, then roll the pastry around the venison so that it covers it completely. Fold a small amount of the pastry ends underneath, trimming off the excess first.
  • Turn the Wellington over so that it is seam side down and brush the top with egg wash. If you like, you can now gently score the pastry and use any trimmings to make a lattice finish. Egg wash the top again, then place the Wellington in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Brush a large, heavy baking sheet with oil.
  • Place the Wellington on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, using a probe or thermometer to make sure the centre of the meat has reached 37°C (perfect medium rare).
  • Meanwhile, heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan and place the cauliflower down flat in the pan. Season generously with salt to prevent the cauliflower from burning (salt draws out the moisture and allows the sugars to caramelize slowly rather than brown), then cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes on one side. Turn off the heat, and place a small plate or tray on top of the cauliflower. Leave for 10 minutes so the cauliflower will sweat and draw up the colour from the pan.
  • Remove the Wellington from the oven and serve immediately, with the cauliflower on the side.

Venison Wellington

 Red Wine Sauce is a great accompaniment to this dish…

Ingredients (makes 6):

  • 2 litres brown Chicken Stock (page xxx) or a good-quality bought stock (not made with cubes)
  • 1 x 70cl bottle red wine
  • 375ml port
  • 6 small shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • butter (optional)


  • Pour the stock into a saucepan, place over a high heat and boil until the stock is reduced by half.
  • Simmer the alcohol, shallots and thyme in a separate saucepan until they have reduced by 90 percent – the level of the liquid should come below the shallots.
  • Pour the reduced stock into the pan of reduced wine and bring to the boil. Cook slowly for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve lined with muslin or cheesecloth into a bowl (or into a clean pan if you are using the sauce straight away). Discard the shallots and thyme.
  • If you feel the sauce needs thickening, a small knob of butter will help thicken it and also make it glossy. If not being used straight away, the sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week without spoiling or losing flavour.

For a touch of sophistication, serve with croûtes topped with spoonfuls of Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait


  • 400g Fresh A Grade Foie Gras
  • 400g French Chicken Livers
  • 12 Clarence Court Eggs
  • 800g Unsalted Butter
  • 100ml Brandy
  • 200ml Port
  • 200ml Madeira
  • 32g Pink Salt
  • 300g Sliced Shallots
  • Small Bouquet of Thyme and Garlic


  • Roughly Chop the Foie Gras and the Chicken Livers, dice the Butter. Place in separate containers, and along with the Eggs place in a warm part of the kitchen to temper.
  • Reduce the Alcohol with the Shallots, Bouquet and Garlic to syrup. Discard the Garlic and Bouquet.
  • In the Robot-Coupe, blend the Foie Gras, Livers and Alcohol Reduction until smooth. One by one add the Eggs.
  • Ensure the Butter is warm and in liquid state, but not too hot, and slowly whilst blending emulsify in to the mixture.
  • Pass through a fine mesh chinois and pour into your chosen vessel.
  • Bake in the oven en Bain-Marie at 120 Degrees, 3 Bar Fan, 40% Humidity, until just set around the outside with still a wobble in the middle. Cooking times Vary depending on size of Vessel.
  • Allow to cool in the Bain-Marie for 1 Hour before transferring to the fridge.

And for pud Quince and Almond Crumble

Ingredients (makes 1 crumble):

  • 3 Quinces, peeled and cored
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 50g White Wine
  • 120g Butter, salted and chilled
  • 120g Moscovado sugar
  • 60g Flour
  • 60g Ground Almonds
  • 60g Flaked Almonds


  • Mix the caster sugar and the white wine together in a saucepan and slowly bring to a boil.
  • Dice the quinces, and add them to the saucepan. Allow the quinces to simmer in the wine and caster sugar until they begin to soften.
  • Once softened, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • In a large bowl, gently mix together the butter, flour, ground almonds, and flaked almonds with your hands until a crumble begins to form.
  • Place the softened quince into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the crumble on top.
  • Bake at 180C for 35 minutes, or until the crumble is golden-brown.

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