Recipe: Maple-and-sloe glazed venison loin with winter squash

For comfort food with a twist, try this rich, elegant dish that pairs venison with winter squash, all dressed in a lovely glaze made with sloe berries and maple sugar.

The tail end of winter, with its biting cold, calls for some rich comfort food and venison, lean yet full of flavour, is the perfect meat for this elegant dish.

This recipe, which uses real Canadian maple sugar, is the creation of James Golding, the Group Chef Director of The Pig hotels, a small boutique chain which started in the New Forest but which now has seven hotels across the country.

James Golding’s maple-and-sloe-glazed venison loin with winter squash and sage purèe

Serves 4


For the venison

  • 1/2 loin of venison
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

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For the winter squash purèe

  • 1 medium sized squash
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the dressing

  • 150g sloes
  • 15g maple sugar
  • 4tbsp maple vinegar


Pre-heat the oven to 185C. Season the venison and sear in a hot pan until golden brown. Cook in a pre-heated oven for 8-10 min. Leave to rest.

Place the sloes in a pan with the maple sugar and cook until a syrup forms then use a sieve to strain. Add the roasting juices and maple vinegar into the sloe syrup and season to taste.

Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes. Mix with olive oil, thyme, rosemary and garlic. Roast the squash in your hot oven until soft, this should take 20-25 minutes. Mash the softened squash with butter and season with salt and pepper.

Place the squash on the bottom of the plate. Slice the venison and place on top of the squash. Drizzle the venison and squash with the sloe dressing.