Venison Recipes

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Originally from Russia, this version of the old classic is right at home here in the Democratic Republic of Braai. To prepare a great beef Stroganoff you need the right ingredients and you need to follow the correct method. The most important procedure is to flash-fry thin strips of steak so that they have the taste of having endured intense heat, without completely drying out. It is best to do this is in your large fireproof pan, as there is no better way to truly generate lots of heat than with the licking flames of a proper wood fire.


  • 800g rump steak
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 onion(chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper(sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves(crushed)
  • 1 tot paprika powder
  • 2 punnets mushrooms (500g, sliced; for bonus points, try use a combination of button and something else like brown mushrooms)
  • 2 tubs sour cream(2 cups)
  • 1 tot Dijon mustard
  • 500g fresh pasta (or 1packet dry pasta)
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful fresh parsley (chopped)


  1. Light the fire.
  2. Cut your steak into thin strips, as thin as you possibly can. You should obviously cut against the grain. If you don’t manage to cut the steak in thin strips, get a new knife, a knife sharpener or both.
  3. Now get some flames under your fireproof pan or large flat-bottomed potjie, add the oil and fry the steak in batches. You don’t want to steam the meat, so it’s better to have less meat in your pan. As the strips of steak are thin, they should fry for just a minute, until they have colour. When all the meat is cooked, season with salt and pepper, put it in a bowl and send it to the business class lounge to wait for its next flight. 
  4. Add the butter to the now empty pan or potjie and fry the onion and bell pepper until soft. 
  5. Now add the garlic, paprika and mushrooms and stir-fry until the mushrooms release their juices, the juices evaporate and the mushrooms get colour. 
  6. Call the meat back to the potjie and be sure to also add all the meat juices that collected in the bottom of the bowl. Toss around so all ingredients in the potjie are well mixed. Immediately proceed to the next step.
  7. Stir in the sour cream and mustard and then let it all simmer for about 4 minutes, at which point the meal is ready to be served.
  8. While you’re preparing the beef Stroganoff, also cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet. I prefer fresh pasta for this dish but normal dry pasta will also work.

Serve the beef Stroganoff on a bed of freshly cooked pasta, season with salt, pepper and freshly chopped parsley


Leg of venison in Port

Venison goes very well with sweeter ingredients like dried fruit and port. Instead of trying to choose between the two, I like to just add both. This creates a truly legendary dish with a cut of meat that can otherwise be difficult to cook and which can easily end up dry.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 8)
Stage 1:
2 kg leg of venison (bone in – make sure it will fit into your potjie, otherwise ask your butcher to cut it into two pieces)
½ tot ground coriander
1 tot chopped rosemary
5 whole cloves
1 whole cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1 bottle port
about 10–12 garlic cloves (whole)

Stage 2:
2 tots oil
2 onions (chopped)
1 packet bacon (chopped)
3 carrots (peeled and sliced)
250 g mixed dried fruit (apricots, apples, prunes, etc.)
2 tots lemon juice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Stage 1:
1. Mix the coriander, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, port and garlic in a bowl.
2. Now let the meat and marinade join forces either in a large marinating bowl (plastic, glass or ceramic) or a plastic bag. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and let it marinate in a fridge for 2 days. Turn the meat roughly every 8–12 hours.
Stage 2:
1. Take the meat out of the fridge an hour before you start cooking.
2. While the potjie heats up over your fire, take the meat out of the marinade and quickly ‘flame-grill’ it over very hot flames for about
3 minutes a side to give it a nice colour (don’t throw the marinade away; keep it for later). Take the meat off the fire and keep it out the way of hyenas, dogs, etc. 3. Over a hot fire, heat the oil in the potjie and fry the onions and bacon for a few minutes until the onions are soft and start to brown.
4. Put the browned meat inside the potjie, and then add all the marinade left in your marinating bowl or bag. Heat up till the sauce starts simmering, then cover with the lid and cook over a low fire for 2 hours. It should just be a slow simmer.
5. If prunes are one of the dried fruits you want to add, now is the time to pit them if they don’t come that way in the packet. Otherwise it’s a broken tooth waiting to happen and that’s no fun when you’re camping in the bush.
6. After 2 hours of simmering, add the carrots, dried fruit, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and then simmer for a further 1 hour (covered). Keep the temperature low and steady. Add a bit of water only if the pot looks too dry.
7. By now the meat should be really tender. Lift the meat out of the pot onto a wooden carving board and slice into thick chunks – it should just about fall apart by itself.
8. Put the meat chunks back in the pot and stir them carefully into the sauce. Add more salt if necessary. Serve with mashed potatoes. It will be great – end of story.

If you want more sauce in your pot after carving the meat into chunks (before adding the meat back into the pot), just add a cup of beef stock to the sauce in the pot and bring it to the boil. Boil for about 2 minutes, then thicken slightly with some dissolved cornflour if necessary (mix half a tot each of cornflour and water, see instructions at the bottm of page 124). Stir and bring to a simmer, then add the meat to the sauce and serve.

Bobotie Potjie

janbraai bobotieBobotie is a South African classic and an important part of our culinary heritage. It’s also one of my favourite meals, but this doesn’t make me special: everybody loves bobotie. As with many other South African cult hits, you can cook it very successfully in a potjie on a braai fire. I believe it’s your moral duty to perfect the art of making bobotie. It’s a great way to show off when you cook for visitors to South Africa.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)

  • 1 tot oil
  • 3 onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tots medium strength curry powder
  • 1/2 tot ground turmeric
  • 1 kg beef mince, ostrich mince or venison mince
  • 1/2 tot salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup almond flakes
  • 1 tot vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • rice (to serve)
  • chutney (to serve)


  1. Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed potjie over a medium-hot fire and fry the onions and garlic until the onions are soft but not brown.
  2. Add the curry powder and turmeric, then fry for a minute – the bottom of the potjie will look quite dry, but don’t let the mixture burn.
  3. Chuck in the mince and fry for about 10 minutes, stirring it to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. The mince should change colour from red to light brown, but shouldn’t turn dark yet. The meat should release some juices – use these juices and your wooden spoon to loosen any sticky bits on the bottom of the potjie.
  4. Add the salt and pepper, apricot jam, raisins, almond flakes and vinegar/lemon juice. Stir well, bring to a slow simmer and put on the lid. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring once in a while to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.
  5. Now remove the lid and flatten the mixture with the back of your spoon so that it’s even across the bottom of the potjie. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small mixing bowl, then pour over the bobotie. Stick the bay leaves into the egg mixture. Cover with the lid and put a layer of hot coals on top of the lid. At this stage you only want coals on the lid, not underneath the potjie. Cook for 30 minutes and the bobotie should be ready.
  6. Serve with rice and chutney on the side.


You might like to serve sliced banana, coconut or chopped tomatoes with the bobotie.

Steak with biltong cream sauce

JanBraai_SS_IMG_009Whilst visiting the Inyati rest camp in the Sabi Sands game reserve I prepared the recipe below on the braai. On that particular occasion the biltong and cream sauce was served with braaied Springbok fillet steaks, but you can just as successfully serve this sauce with normal beef steak. As I don’t have a particularly nice photo of the finished meal, I decided to rather post a picture of the lion cubs we saw later that day after having our meal of braaied Springbok steaks with biltong and cream sauce. The lions had Impala on the menu that day if I remember correctly, but again, posting a pic of their food is probably not family friendly either so here a pic of them having their after dinner drink.

Biltong and cream sauce – What you need

  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped, grated or blended biltong
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon beef stock (dry, not liquid stock)
  • 1 cup fresh cream

Biltong and cream sauce – What to do

  1. Sauté the onion in the butter and oil for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the biltong to the pan and let it sweat for a minute or 2.
  3. Add the salt & pepper and half of the cream and stir through.
  4. Sprinkle the beef stock over the contents of the pan and stir through.
  5. Add the rest of the cream, stir and let simmer whilst you braai the steaks until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
  6. Braai the steaks until medium rare and serve the sauce on the steak.

Springbok Carpaccio with Tataki Sauce

Jeremy Freemantle and the African Relish Team hosted us in the previous episode of Jan Braai for Erfenis and has graciously sent us these recipes to share with you.


What you need:

  • 180g Springbok fillet
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Coriander seeds
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman  soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • mixed baby herbs, to garnish

(Serves 2)

What you do:

Make a mixture of Maldon sea salt, crushed coriander seeds and freshly crushed black pepper and rub this all over the venison fillet. Braai the fillet until lightly brown on all sides, being careful not to braai the meat too much, it should be sealed outside and raw inside. This should take no more than 3 minutes in total.  Set aside to cool.

For the Tataki sauce:

Mix together the soy sauce, honey, garlic, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Set aside. Whisk well together.

For the mustard emulsion sauce:

Combine the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, egg yolk, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon water. Using a hand blender, aerate this mixture until it forms a light froth on top. Set aside.

Using a very sharp knife, cut the cooled venison into thin slices and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with the Tataki sauce . Froth the mustard emulsion dressing once more and sprinkle the foamed emulsion over the sliced springbok. Garnish with mixed baby herbs and edible flowers.


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