Venison with red cabbage and pine nuts

This dish, by the people behind London’s iconic tapas bar Barrafina, is a simple but impressive supper. Red cabbage is usually cooked long and slow but in this recipe it is simply warmed through to transform it into a crunchy summer salad.

Preparation time

5 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 60g pine nuts
  • 60g sultanas
  • 75ml Pedro Ximénez balsamic vinegar
  • 16 dessert spoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 red cabbage heart finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 600g loin or fillet of venison, trimmed of sinews and cut into 4 slices
  • 40g Payoyo or Manchego cheese


Step 1: Preheat oven to 180°C. Toast the pine nuts in a small roasting tray in the oven for a minute, until lightly browned. Put the sultanas in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar and set to one side.

Step 2: Heat eight dessert spoons of olive oil in a large, deep, heavybottomed frying pan. Throw in the red cabbage, season with salt and pepper and cook for five minutes, until heated through but still a little crunchy. Add the sultanas and most of their soaking vinegar, reserving a little. Then stir in the pine nuts and cook for another minute or so.

Step 3: While the cabbage is cooking, heat the rest of the oil in another heavy-bottomed frying pan until very hot. Add the venison slices and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side – they should be rare. Season with salt and pepper as you go.

Step 4: Spoon red cabbage onto each plate. Cut the venison steaks into strips and lay on top. Drizzle with a little of the reserved soaking vinegar, and shave a couple of very thin slivers of Payoyo or Manchego over the top.

From Barrafina: A Spanish Cookbook by Sam and Eddie Hart and Nieves Barragan Mohacho (£25, Fig Tree)