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Venison loin with plum jus, tarteflette and broccolini

Mark Harvey, 39 years old, Auckland

Venison loin with plum jus, tarteflette and broccolini

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme leaves
200g venison loin
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbs Anchor Butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbs smoked bacon lardons, finely chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup white wine (viognier)
2 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tbs red wine (pinot noir)
2 tbs Campbells beef stock
1 tbs damson plum paste
1 black doris plum, stoned, sliced
3 sprigs thyme
1 round reblochon cheese
broccolini, sliced
4 hazelnuts, toasted, roughly chopped
1 Tbs flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 Combine the garlic and thyme in a bowl, add the venison loin and drizzle with olive oil, coat the venison and set aside in the fridge for 8 hours to marinate.

2 Preheat the oven to 190 C

3 Heat two frying pans over a low heat, add the Anchor Butter and half the onion to one pan and sauté the onion slowly until soft. Add olive oil to the other pan with the remaining half onion and sauté, add 1 clove of garlic to each pan, continue to sauté the onions and garlic in each pan until soft but not caramelized. Add the bacon lardons to one frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, add the potato to the same frying pan and cook until golden. Add the white wine to the pan with the potatoes and season with salt and pepper, stir occasionally, cover and allow to cook until potato is tender. Add the red wine vinegar to the frying pan with just the onion and garlic, cook a minute then add the red wine and cook a further minute, add the beef stock, plum paste, plum and thyme and set a side on a low heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain the plum jus through a sieve into a saucepan. Adjust seasoning and simmer until desired consistency is reached.

4 Grease an oven tray, place a ring mould in the centre of the tray, spoon some potato mixture into the mould to half full, top with a layer of reblochon, add more potato to fill the mould and top with another layer of reblochon, skin side up. Place the potato in the oven to bake for 15-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and foaming and slightly brown. Remove from oven.

5 Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and sugar, reduce to a simmer, blanch broccoli for 2-3 minutes then refresh into a bowl of iced water.

6 Heat an oiled frying pan over a high heat. Sear the venison on all sides, place the pan in the oven and cook for 4-5 minutes or until cooked to your liking.  Take out and rest for 10 minutes, slice into thick slices.

7 Using a fish slice, carefully remove tarteflette from tray and place in the centre of a serving plate, use a sharp knife to cut around mould edges, gently remove mould, place broccoli to the side and top with hazelnuts and parsley, with a lemon wedge to the side. Pour over jus before serving.

Please note - This recipe is untested in the MasterChef kitchen.