If you’re looking for an easy meal with an excellent balance of sustaining carbohydrate, lean, quality protein and healthy fats as well as heaps of nutrients and an explosion of flavours, then you’ve come to the right place!
Impressive enough for a dinner party, yet simple enough to knock up for supper after work, this mouth-watering venison dish is packed with health-boosting antioxidants such as vitamins B6, vitamin C and flavenoids as well as iron, niacin and potassium to keep your training on the right track over winter. Serve with a fruity red wine and a selection of vegetables for a proper winter treat.
Equipment needed: saucepans x 3, sieve, potato masher, steamer, small bowl or plate, non-stick frying pan, and spatula or tongs.
For the venison:
■ 2 tbsp cocoa powder
■ 1 tsp soft dark brown sugar
■ ¼ tsp each ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper & paprika
■ Pinch of salt
■ Plenty of black pepper
■ 4 venison loin steaks
■ 2 tbsp olive oil and a knob of butter
■ 250ml beef or chicken stock
■ 50ml red wine
■ 1 tsp redcurrant jelly
■ 1 tsp pink peppercorns, lightly crushed
■ 200g fresh blueberries or blackberries
For the sweet potato mash:
■ 700g sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
■ 25g butter
■ Squeeze of lime juice
■ Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the greens:
■ 400g purple sprouting broccoli
First, prep the veg. Pop the sweet potatoes into a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, add a pinch of salt, place lid on, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15mins, until the potatoes are soft.
Drain, return the potatoes to the warm pan, and add a large knob of butter, a squeeze of lime juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mash the potatoes roughly with a fork. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for a few minutes, until just tender. Set both potatoes and broccoli aside, covered, while you cook the venison.
Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and paprika, salt and black pepper. Dry the venison steaks with some kitchen towel and brush with 1 tsbp of the olive oil. Roll each steak around in the cocoa mixture to coat them on both sides.
Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the other tbsp oil along with a knob of butter. When it starts sizzling, add the venison and sauté for 2mins on each side for rare, 3mins for medium and 4mins for well done. Set aside to rest, covered with tinfoil, while you cook the sauce.
In the same pan, add the stock, redcurrant jelly, wine and peppercorns and leave to bubble away until the sauce is reduced by half. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the berries at the last minute.
To serve, slice each steak with a sharp knife into 1cm slices, arrange on a warmed plate with the sweet potatoes and broccoli, and pour over the berry sauce.
(Images: Ewelina Karbowiak)
For lots more training-friendly recipes head to our Nutrition section