Life Food & Drink

Tuesday 20 August 2019

Stress-free entertaining

Mixed berries and champagne sabayon dessert
Mixed berries and champagne sabayon dessert
Crab cocktail with avocado and granny smith
Slow roast shoulder of venison with truffle mash and sticky spiced red cabbage

Recipes devised by David Murray of Balfes

Crab cocktail with avocado and granny smith

Serves 6

You will need

4 avocados

3 red chilli peppers

1 shallot

1 soup spoon homemade mayo

1 lemon freshly squeezed

Bunch of chives, finely chopped

1 soup spoon of crème fraiche

400g crab meat

1 Granny Smith apple

Finely grated zest of half a lime


For the avocado purée

1.Blend avocado, crème fraiche and lemon juice until smooth.

2.Finely mince 1/2 shallot, chilli, chives and add to the avocado.

3.Mix in a bowl with salt and pepper.

For the crab

1.Mix together the crab meat, mayo and finely chopped chilli and half the shallot.

2.Season and add the zest of half a lime.

To serve, we layer a martini glass with the avocado puree, followed by the crab meat topped with freshly cut sticks of apple.

Slow roast shoulder of venison with truffle mash and sticky spiced red cabbage

Serves 6

You will need

1.5 kg of shoulder of venison

1 bulb of garlic, cut in half horizontally

1 onion

2 carrots

2 kg of potatoes

250g butter

200ml of fresh cream

1 tbsp truffle oil

50g rosemary

1 head of red cabbage

2 beef tomatoes

1 litre port wine


For the truffle mash

1.Bake the potatoes in their skins for 1 hour 180°C.

2.Simmer the cream and butter in a pot and after add the truffle oil.

3.Scoop out the potato and pass through a strainer, then add the mix of cream, butter and truffle oil.

For the venison

1. In a heavy-based casserole, sear the shoulder of the venison to seal the meat, then remove and set aside.

2. In the same pan roast the garlic, onion, carrots, tomatoes and then return the venison to the pan.

3. On the stove, add port wine, herbs and enough water to cover the joint. When it comes to a boil, remove and cover tightly with tinfoil. Slow roast at 95°C for 8 hours.

4. When cooked, remove the venison joint to cool a little and allow the meat to rest.

5. Strain the sauce and reduce the volume by half over a high heat.

6. When the joint is cool enough to handle, roll the venison as tightly as possible into a cylinder shape. Then twist the ends of the clingfilm keeping the joint as densely packed as possible and allow to cool.

7. When venison has cooled, refrigerate and then slice into 7cm medallions.

8. Add medallions back into the sauce and cook for 15 minutes covered with a lid.

Sticky spiced red cabbage

You will need

1 tbsp olive oil

1 med-sized red cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded

1 finger-size stick of ginger finely sliced

2 onions finely sliced

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp mustard

100g brown caster sugar

150ml red wine


1.Heat oil in saucepan, add cabbage, ginger, onions, allspice and mustard seeds, then cook over medium heat for 5 minutess.

2.Add sugar and vinegar. Cover pan and cook for 10 mins. Remove lid and turn up the heat to medium.

3.Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and then continuously for last few minutes until all liquid has evaporated and becomes sticky.

Mixed berries and champagne sabayon dessert

Serves 6

You will need

250g blueberries

250g raspberries

250g strawberries

For the sabayon

300 ml Champagne

240g sugar

12 egg yolks

A drop of cream


1.Whisk egg yolks and sugar together.

2.Bring the wine to a simmer then slowly whisk it into the egg and sugar mixture.

3.Return this mixture to the pan and over medium heat continue to whisk until mixture falls like a ribbon from the whisk.

4.At this point whisk in a little fresh cream. Traditionally sabayon is made with white wine but at Balfes we like to use Champagne.


Balfes restaurant & bar, Balfe Street, Dublin 2. (01-6463353) 01- 6463353

Irish Independent

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