“Bloody Foreigners” Part 2 – Venison Fillet Sous Vide


In part 1 of this two parter, I had a go at some of the French living here in Ireland. I need to spread my net wider. A good bit of racism goes a long way and we have plenty of it here in Ireland. My problem isn’t with the dumb-assed outrage at women wearing burkinis or even with the Brits for Brexiting. No, my issue is with the wily way so many of the ‘Bloody Foreigners’ are making it difficult for me to hate them. Let me tell you how the Breton and the Mexicans conspired to confound my natural distaste for anybody from anywhere else. 


Franck, giving me an education in cheese production at Sheridan’s.

Firstly, the Breton, Franck. He made his way to Ireland some 22 years ago. He now manages the Sheridan’s Cheese Shop in Pottlereagh, Co. Meath.

Glorious cheeses maturing at Sheridan's.

Glorious cheeses maturing at Sheridan’s.

He also writes the excellent Hungry Breton blog. When we went to meet Franck, he gave us a tour of the cheese facility and grounds.

The Sheridan's shop is in a disused railway station. Totally picturesque.

The Sheridan’s shop is part of  a disused rural railway station. Totally picturesque.

They have a wide range of things that go well with cheese, including an eclectic and diverse range of wines.

So much choice. All good with cheese.

So much choice. All good with cheese.

The Mexicans are the Krause family who have, for some years now been restoring the magnificent Killua Castle in County Westmeath. As you would expect, the Mexicans and the Breton have been conspiring against my natural distaste for them both.

I have never met a Krause. Not only are they investing energy and capital here, but they are employing numerous skilled Irish workers, playing a role in restoring and preserving our Irish heritage. Heritage that would otherwise be lost forever. There is a bizarre political twist to Mexicans paying others to build walls. But, I digress.  The castle sits on a pretty big estate. As happens, the deer herd on the estate needed to be culled. This means venison became available. The Krauses consulted with the Breton who suggested that I might have a use for some.The Krauses very generously provided a fine fillet of Irish venison. Franck got in touch and invited us to visit him at Sheridan’s, to collect the meat. How can I hold any distaste for these people? They are causing me difficulties. So all I can do is to cook the fillet as best I can to recognise the generosity and thoughtfulness of these fine folk. I’m not happy. I don’t like foreigners helping me out and being wonderful. Hate needs a home!

My ingredients for an international celebration.

My ingredients for an international celebration.

I thought that the best thing I could do with a complimentary piece of venison was to cook it and serve it with complementary flavours. So I prepared Venison Fillet Sous Vide with Roasted Parsnip and Amarene Cherries. If you need an excuse for getting a sous vide device, this is it.

Ingredients (for three greedy people) 

  • 1 venison fillet
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of red peppercorns
  • A few juniper berries
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A glass of red wine
  • Half a jar of Amarene cherries and the syrup
  • A few parsnips
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

Dry fry the fennel seeds and add them, the peppercorns and the juniper berries to a mortar.

There is a lovely flavour from this simple mix.

There is a lovely flavour from this simple mix.

Bash them with the pestle until you have a powder. Rub the mixture all over the venison fillet.

This is a truly fine piece of meat. One of the finest I have tasted.

This is a truly fine piece of meat. One of the finest I have tasted.

Vacuum seal it and cook sous vide at 55ºC for an hour. Remove it from the water. Pat dry and fry in some butter on a medium hot pan. This is to add a little flavour and to brown the meat. It colours very quickly as it cooked.

The meat is looking very tasty at this stage.

The meat is looking very tasty at this stage.

The meat takes just over an hour to prepare. Use that time to make a sauce with the some of the olive oil, shallots, cloves of garlic, glass of red wine and half a jar of Amarene cherries and the syrup. Add the oil to a saucepan and heat to medium. chop and add the shallots and garlic. when they have softened and before they get a chance to brown, add the wine and the syrup from the cherries. Reduce by about one third. Strain into another saucepan and add the cherries. Keep this warm while you prepare the parsnips. Do this by slicing them, drizzling with olive oil, adding salt and pepper. They will cook in a 200ºC oven in under half an hour.

Assemble the dish by slicing the venison into medallions.

How can I hate these guys. This meat looks fantastic!

How can I hate these guys. This meat looks fantastic!

Plate up like I show in the picture. Serve it with the remaining wine.

Any residual race hate evaporated while I ate this delight.

Any residual race hate evaporated while I ate this delight.

The combination of the slightly gamey venison, earthy parsnips and sweet/sour Amarene cherry sauce was truly outstanding. The wine didn’t do any harm either. It looks like I have to admit that I have some warm feelings for the ‘Bloody Foreigners’ who are enriching our lives here in Ireland. Every time I try to find an excuse to be a small minded bigot, they give me great reason to see the bigger picture. Thank you all. It’s a better place for ye being here.


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Latest comments
  • That venison is perfection. Lucky you for having such eclectic and generous neighbours. And the carving shot is just lovely.

  • That looks delicious and well worth the sous vide, I’m sure. Just to stir the foreign melting pot, isn’t Krause a German name?

      • Apparently there was a Rev. William Krause born in Ireland in 1796:
        Here’s some more info on your new friends – it looks like they have a huge job on their hands 😉

          • I don’t know why I looked really, but the name had me intrigued and the castle looks amazing.

          • I know what you mean. I remember seeing a beautiful book of dilapidated Irish castles (20 years ago or more), shot with black and white infra red film.

  • Yes Conor, this was going to be my question as well – Krause for sure is a German Name! You are so lucky to have such “invaders” of your beautiful island living around you and such generous ones too. That meat looks incredible and whoever set up those shots brought it so “to life” that I can smell your roast. When I grew up in Germany venison (most game actually) graced our table frequently. And then that cheese and the wine! Oh boy – if we only could be there 🙂 :).

      • May Carina and I visit in tandem? You would have rwo to smile and clap at the same time!! Names: I was born Estonian with a German name ‘Treufeldt’, I married ‘Sarv’ but did not belong to the Estonian community . . .and then again to the Hungarian ‘de Rokolanyi Karczag’ of which I retain his Lordship’s Australian nomenclature ‘Carr’ . . . . makes me a real ‘b . . . . . d’, does it not 🙂 !

  • Technically, not a foreigner while you’re over there, but why do you Irish have to tease us on this side of the Pond with such a deliciously cooked venison fillet! Great plating too – brings the meal to life 🙂 Now you have my thoughts fixated on dinner and I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet

  • Lots of German names in South America after the last Unpleasantness…
    Conor, that is an extremely posh plating, and I’m now salivating quite painfully. Venison is incredibly rare here; there are no native deer, and people are discouraged from introducing them. However, I have a great memory of my brother bringing an entire haunch home from a shooting expedition when I was in my teens. It lolled around in a bath of marinade for a day or two, and emerged from the oven brown, crispy and very tender. The memory is still vivid! I think you’ve chosen the perfect accompaniments and spicing.

  • That venison looks incredible! I love cherries with duck but haven’t tried them with venison. How lucky are you to get such beautiful produce?!
    Bloody foreigners!

      • I still have a couple of jars from the last time they were on offer. I think I cleared out my local Lidl that time 🙂

  • I used to cook a lot with venison when I worked in Vermont, but somehow didn’t have it in a long time. Your perfect fillet definitely triggered me to get some soon! Fabulous looking plate. 🙂

      • Will definitely try to get it. One of my signature dishes was venison carpaccio. Now that I was reminded of it, I really need to make it soon! 🙂

  • I’ve not had a good piece of venison in many a year, and I have them literally walking into my backyard! Gorgeous plating and the venison looks perfectly done.

  • That plate looks wonderful, Conor, and I like everything on it. The gaminess of the venison works well with the sweetness of the cherries and parsnips. If there is anyone pregnant or elderly eating the venison, you could take it up to 3 to 4 hours to pasteurize.

  • This looks truly amazing, venison cooked to perfection and I love the cherries.

  • You are welcome Conor, I really enjoyed this!!! 🙂

  • A cook who prides himself on creating a fine dish from local provender.

  • What a joy to see someone properly use complimentary and complementary—and in one sentence at that!

  • I can’t wait to try this recipe, especially after having great success with your venison haunch recipe. This looks divine and will be served for dinner in my home soon! Thanks! Hope you don’t mind that a foreigner (a Texan no less) will be trying your recipe.

  • I’m still on a quest to source venison that hasn’t been minced before packaging but things are looking bleak. The one area store that had a few game meats no longer does. Should my luck change, I’ll be sure to drop by here for some recipe ideas. This venison that you’ve prepared looks fantastic.

  • I planned to leave a comment here of grovelling apology for being away from reading blogs for so long because I fell off the world for a bit there. Then you went and paralysed me with awe for your riff on complimentary/complementary, not to mention the gooey deliciousness of those photographs. Bambi was never treated so well. I am your number 1 fan. Fact.

      • Female for novel. I love it! It’s my new favourite slight. I may use it…

  • I’m glad I found this site. We don’t really get venison in this part of the world (Western Australia), I was actually googling for a way to cook kangaroo steak sous vide, I’ve been told by someone that knows, that the cooking methods and results for either are interchangable. I think I will give this recipe a go next weekend.

  • Hello Conor, thank you for this article.

    The thing I like most about the sous vide cooker is the ability to achieve flavors that cannot be achieved with other cooking methods.

    In another vein, have you tried to make sous vide without plastic before? I actually saw an article on a website that is pushing this. This seems groundbreaking because silicone is actually more safer than plastic since it is a non-toxic polymer without the off-gassing or hazardous chemicals like that in plastics.

    Would like to have your thoughts on this.

  • Hello Conor! I’ve made this meal tonight in far away Texas and must tell you how much we enjoyed it. I’m delighted to say that I have three more venison backstraps in the freezer and can assure you they will meet the same fate as the one tonight because it was delicious. Thanks so much for sharing your inspirations in the kitchen. Your recommendations are traveling far and wide and are being enjoyed everywhere!

  • How much is half a jar?! (Amarone cherries) I got 2 jars of 200g each but have seen much bigger jars online so just checking your measurements. I am doing this tonight. This recipe inspired me to buy a Sous code wand!

  • *Sous vide wand

  • Conor, another massive triumph. My first time ‘Sous vide-ing’ and the venison was incredible. My sauce was quite thin so perhaps I went too light on the cherries and syrup. I did fondant potato rather than parsnip & worked well

  • Paired with a Chateau Talbot and the perfect compliment. Well done again

  • Wow! So glad I found you! I just bought my first sous vide contraption and was looking for some advice on preparing venison with it (the main source of protein in our household ). It’s a happy coincidence that I just returned from a trip to Ireland in January. Gorgeous place. Looking forward to visiting again. I’m pretty sure that I need to stop by that cheese shop! Anyway, your knowledge of venison and your wonderful photos leave me wanting more. I’m looking forward to your next post. Tootles from South Texas!

  • It IS great to find other folks who share my love of all things “gamey”. I will definitely let you know before my next trip over yonder. I have to warn you about South Texas, though! Don’t come during the summer! It’s going to be over 104 degrees almost every day for the next couple of weeks. We had an Irish guest in June. We feared he would wilt! The sous vide has been a real blessing, though. Keeps the house from getting too hot. I hope you will allow me to pick your brain for sous vide info. Can it be used to reheat previously cooked meat?

  • Many thanks. I was not able to find the cherries locally that you used in your recipe so I ordered some. They arrived last week. I’m preparing dinner now! 🙂

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