There's no starter more festive than Philippa Davis' venison carpaccio, candied pecans and clementine salad with a spiced maple syrup and balsamic dressing. Serve Christmas on a plate


This venison carpaccio, candied pecans and clementine salad will make a fantastically festive starter. With its bright colours and fragrant spices, it is essentially Christmas on a plate. Follow Philippa Davis’ recipe for a special supper party.

If you’re game to try something a little different with your venison, put it in a salad. Think salad isn’t macho enough for the shoot lunch? Think again. Our thyme-crusted venison fillet salad showcases game at its very best.


Vneison carpaccio, candied pecans and clementine salad

Start by searing the venison.

With these colours, fragrant spices and tastes, this is Christmas on a plate.

Serves 2 as a starter

  • 120g venison fillet, fridge cold
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 dsp extra virgin olive oil

Candied pecans

  • 1 heaped tsp butter
  • 1 heaped tsp demerara sugar
  • 30g pecans

Clementine salad

  • 2 clementines, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1 tbsp finely shredded radicchio or red chicory
  • 1 dsp finely chopped parsley


  • 1 tsp balsamic
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 2 dsp olive oil
Vension carpaccio, candied pecans and clementine salad. Pecans

Candied pecans with the clementine salad make this starter undeniably festive.

Season the cold venison and rub with the rosemary and olive oil. Sear on all sides and both ends in a hot frying pan then leave to cool and return
to the fridge.

For the pecans, line a small tray with a piece of baking paper. In a small saucepan on a low heat stir the pecans with the sugar and butter until dissolved and the mix has turned a medium golden. Scoop out onto the baking paper and leave to cool.

For the dressing put the balsamic into a small bowl and season. Whisk in the syrup, lemon juice and spices then finally the olive oil.

And finally to assemble the venison carpaccio, candied pecans and clementine salad, fFinely slice the venison and flatten each slice with the back of a knife before laying flat on a plate or serving platter. Scatter over the clementines and pecans. Toss the shredded radicchio and parsley into the dressing and scatter on top. Pour over any extra dressing and serve.