Venison with blackberries

Hjortkött med björnbär

Venison with blackberries

Venison is far more common in Sweden than in the UK. It is not surprising really because there are over a million roe deer, over 200,000 elks (moose) and several other species, including hundreds of thousands of farmed reindeer in the north of Sweden.

In the UK the deer population is much smaller. We only have a small number of deer living wild, so most of our venison is farmed. Nonetheless, the quality of venison in the UK is superb and increasing in popularity as people become more aware that it is healthier than beef, and tastier too.

This is one of my favourite venison dishes. It is simple, yet it tastes delicious and always feels like a special treat. Because it is so good I try to keep some blackberries in the freezer, so that I can cook this dish whenever the mood takes me. John Duxbury



• Venison should be served rare or medium rare, never well done.
• This is such a richly flavoured dish that less can be more so I tend to use quite small steaks.

• This recipe also works well with venison cutlets.
• The timings below are for medium-rare. For rare, reduce to 2 minutes per side and for medium increase to 4 minutes per side.
• If you like a lot of sauce, double the quantities below.


8   black peppercorns
2   juniper berries
2   venison steaks, each about 125 g (5 oz)
½ tbsp   olive oil


½ tbsp   balsamic vinegar
120 ml (½ cup) good quality beef stock
1 tbsp   redcurrant jelly or rårörda lingon
50 g (2 oz) blackberries, fresh or frozen, but preferable wild


1. Crush the peppercorns and juniper berries using a pestle and mortar.

2. Brush the venison steaks on both side with olive oil.

3. Sprinkle both sides with crushed peppercorns and juniper berries.

4. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat for five minutes. When hot, cook the venison on one side for 3 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 3 minutes, slightly longer if you have particularly thick steaks. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside to rest.

5. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan, then pour in the stock and redcurrant jelly or rårörda lingon. Stir over quite a high heat to blend everything together for a couple of minutes.

6. Add the blackberries and carry on cooking for 2 or 3 minutes, until the berries have softened and the sauce has a nice consistency.

Sliced venison steak with blackberry sauce

7. If desired, slice the meat before serving and then pour the sauce over the sliced meat. Accompany with potatismos (mashed potatoes), baby roast potatoes or potatisgratäng (potato gratin) and seasonal vegetables.


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