Venison Faggots with Parsnip Mash – from Bruce Wilson

Venison Faggots with Parsnip Mash – from Bruce Wilson

Serves 8



Venison Faggots 

1 large onion small dice

2-3 cloves of garlic pealed and finely chopped

2 good sprig of thyme leaves removed

1 good sprig of rosemary leaves removed and chopped

½ teaspoon ground clove

1 level teaspoon ground mace

8 juniper berries crushed

100ml Glass of port

75ml Glass of brandy

5 good twists of Milled black pepper

6g Maldon sea salt

2 thick slices of farmhouse white bread crusts removed and roughly turned into

50ml cold pressed rapeseed oil for cooking

1kg lean diced shoulder of venison

250g venison liver or pork liver

150g good pork back fat

6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon shredded

1 large free-range egg beaten

250g pig’s caul fat to wrap faggots

1ltre good rich beef stock

Parsnip Mash

1.5kg (8 in number) large parsnips pealed cored and diced

600ml whole milk

600ml chicken stock

2 in number bay leaves

120g unsalted butter

20ml lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste



Heat a medium sauce pan and sweat the onions, garlic with the herbs and a the oil turn a few times and add salt, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the juniper and spices and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes turning regularly.

Increase the heat and add the brandy, quickly followed by the port, once back to the boil and reducing slightly add the bread crumbs until the liquid has been absorbed.

Season again and remove from heat and chill well.

Once cold, mix with the diced venison, liver, bacon and pork fat.

Mince through a medium plate and season well.

Separately remove the caul fat from the water and squeeze any remaining water from it in readiness for the next stage.

Weigh into 70g balls and carefully wrap in the caul fat making sure all ends are folded underneath each ball and chill for 1 hour at least to firm up.

Once chilled and firm, heat a medium non-stick frying pan and, in a little cold pressed rapeseed oil, pan fry each ball by placing it seam down in the pan and gently turning until golden brown.

Place into a roasting dish. Continue the process until all the Venison Faggots have been sealed off.

Heat the beef stock and pour over the faggots in the roasting dish. Cut a piece of baking  parchment the same size as the roasting dish, butter the inside of the paper and place over the faggots.

Bake in a pre-heated fan oven at 140 degrees c, for 1.20 minutes until core has reached the 72 degrees c. 

Remove from oven and leave to rest while you finish the dish.


For the Parsnip Mash:

In a medium saucepan cover the diced parsnip with the stock and milk, add bay leaves and lightly place a disk of parchment the same size as the saucepan over the parsnips. 

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 40-45 minutes until the parsnips are completely soft. Check this by pushing a piece of parsnip to the side of the pan and there should be no resistance.

Once cooked fully drain off reserving the liquid and allow the parsnips to air for 2-3

Blend together with the butter in a food processer until smooth adding some cooking liquor to adjust the consistency of the mash as needed. Finish with lemon and season very well before serving.


To finish the dish:

Place a large spoon of parsnip mash in the centre of a main-course bowl.

Carefully take two of the venison faggots out of the roasting dish and place on top of the mash.

Season the cooking juices and finish with a splash of port or madeira and a good handful of chopped flat leaf parsley.

Spoon the sauce over the faggots and serve.

Add some parsnip crisps or crispy bacon as a garnish.