Chargrilled venison with oyster mayo
Venison / All Seasons / Dariush Lolaiy / Serves: 4

700 g venison, silver skin removed (if using 1 large muscle cut it into 2 sections)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 sprig thyme
1/2 sprig rosemary
2 heads baby gem lettuce, quartered
1 pickled shallot (see page 176), to garnish

Oyster mayo
3 fresh oysters, in the shell
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp chardonnay vinegar
1–2 tsp lemon juice
a few splashes Tabasco sauce
150 ml sunflower oil


If there's a dish that epitomises Cazador, this is it. Venison leg is as tender as fillet, but with much more flavour, and the oyster mayonnaise is beautifully saline – I often pair venison with anchovies or oysters for their mineral richness. Grilled lettuce is one of my favourite garnishes for its charred flavour and watery freshness. If you need starch to balance the meal, look no further than duck fat roast potatoes. This dish can be prepared using the backstrap or any one of the Denver leg muscle group. — Dariush


p. 126

Season the venison with salt and pepper and rub it with garlic, thyme and rosemary 48 hours in advance of cooking, cover and refrigerate.

For the oyster mayo
Shuck the oysters – be careful not to lose the juice from inside the shell. Use a stick blender to blend the oysters and their juice with the egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, Tabasco and lemon juice. Slowly add the oil while blending to make an emulsion. If the mayo gets too thick, add a splash of warm water. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

For the venison
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Just before cooking, rub the meat with a little olive oil. Sear on a hot grill for about 1 minute on each side. Transfer the meat to the oven and roast for 3 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 33°C. Rest for 4 minutes. While the venison is in the oven, lightly oil and salt the gem lettuce. Grill it for about 20 seconds on each side.

To serve
Cut the meat against the grain – aim for 1 cm wide slices. Drizzle with oyster mayo, and garnish with a generous helping of pickled shallots. Pile up the grilled lettuce and, if you're feeling extra healthy, add a portion of duck fat roast potatoes (see page 189).