Rhyming Venison Wellington With Pomegranate Jelly and Cabbage with Cranberries

“Come, we have a hot Venison pasty to dinner”

William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

This venison Wellington is part of a Valentine’s day dinner for two – along with prawn and fennel cups and saucers and blood orange sorbet. Why ‘Wellington’? Well, it’s a venison adaptation of the well-known dish Beef Wellington – beef wrapped in pastry lined with goodies of one kind or another, in this case armagnac-soaked prunes with shallots.

Naturally the universal assumption is that the original beef version was named after the famed Duke of Wellington, he of the gumboot fame. However, according to Clarissa Dickson Wright,

“This dish has nothing to do with that splendid hero, the Duke of Wellington; it was invented for a civic reception in Wellington, New Zealand, but it is a splendid addition to any party.”

At any rate the sharpness of the mustard in this venison Wellington goes particularly well with whatever sweet jelly you choose to serve with it – I found some pomegranate jelly last time I visited my local farmshop, Newlyns, but cranberry jelly would also be good, and, if you are lucky enough to find/make medlar jelly, that is sublime. The use of the cranberries in the sweetheart cabbage brings the whole dish ‘together’.

Variations on the theme

For an alternative way of serving venison Wellington, try the approach try Nina Matsunaga’s approach at The Black Bull. This is how Marina O’Loughlin, writing in The Sunday Times puts it:

“Then a flawless wellington of wild venison, as glossy as a cookbook spread and tasting as gorgeous as it looks: the meat cut thick, juicy and rosy, wrapped in mushroom duxelles and excellent pastry, buttery mash on the side, plus a pool of something dark that delivers the thrilling astringent slap of pickled walnuts.”

You can also use minced venison… mix with garlic, parsley, some apple, Dijon mustard, mushrooms, onion, breadcrumbs and some beaten egg. This is probably more like the venison pasty Shakespeare is writing about.

I often add a spritz of apple vinegar to the cabbage before serving.

If you’re interested in learning about game, we have an episode all about it on our podcast Serving Up Sustainability! You can listen below.


Music to play as you make this

Cavatina from The Deer Hunter

You might also like…

Our recipe for venison steak with rich chocolate and blackberry sauce

Our tips on what to do with leftover venison

More information on sustainable food

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