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Lamb and Game

Saddle of venison with a rosemary-walnut crust with pretzel dumplings

Saddle of venison with a rosemary-walnut crust with pretzel dumplings

Serves four:

3 kg saddle of venison

For the dumplings:

- 7 pretzels (from the day before)

- 250 g porcini mushrooms

- 1 onion

- 500 ml milk

- 3 eggs

- 200 g breadcrumbs

- a handful of thyme

- a bunch of parsley

- a pinch of nutmeg

For the sauce:

- 2 carrots

- 1/2 celery root

- 1 onion

- 1 leek

- 2 tbsp tomato puree

- 0,5 liters full-bodied wine (e.g. Barolo)

- 2 bay leaves

- a few juniper berries

- a few peppercorns

- allspice

- 10 g butter

- salt and pepper

For the crust:

- 50 g butter

- 2 slices of bread without the crust

- 15 chopped walnuts

- rosemary

- salt and pepper

Remove the skin, fat and sinews from the saddle of venison. Put the cuts aside for the sauce. Sear the meat on both sides.

Peel and cut the onions into dice. Cut up the carrots, celery and leek into small pieces.

Fry the cuts of meat, add the vegetables and the tomato puree and deglaze with the red wine. Add the bay leaf, the juniper berries and the peppercorns, and let simmer.

Place the meat in a baking pan and put into the oven, which has been preheated to 170 degrees Celsius. According to weight and size, the meat will need about three hours to reach a temperature of 50 degrees. It should be pink and juicy.


The pretzels for the dumplings should be a day old. These are common in southern Germany and Austria. The dough is typically formed in a knot-like shape.

Remove the salt and cut into small pieces.

Clean the porcini and chop into small dice. Add salt, pepper and thyme to taste.

Soften the pretzel pieces in lukewarm milk. Then add the chopped onion and mushrooms, the chopped parsley, grated nutmeg and breadcrumbs until you have a solid mass.

For the crust, toast the bread and cut it into small pieces, add chopped rosemary, butter, ground walnuts, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Spread out the mixture on plastic wrap and form it into a shape that is the size of the meat and is about three millimeters high. Put aside to cool.

Make the dumplings by hand, dipping your hands in warm water from time to time so the mixture does not stick. Cook them in salted wated. They are ready when they float up to the surface.

Remove the meat from the oven and leave for about 10 minutes. Sieve the sauce and add some butter to it.

Take the crust out of the refrigerator and put on the meat. Place under a broiler for about three minutes.

Cut the meat, arrange on a plate with the sauce and pretzel dumplings. Guten Appetit!

This recipe comes to us courtesy of chef Ranchi Pfeil from "Bavarese" in Munich.