Warm Venison salad with beetroot and feta relish and caramelised fennel

Serves: 6 persons

Beetroot, feta and basil relish
500g baby beetroot
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 bunch basil
100g feta

Preheat oven to 180C. Place the beetroot in an oven-prof dish and pour over the canola oil and water. Cover with tinfoil and roast for an hour or until the beetroots are soft through.. Remove, cool and then peel and chop into pieces about the size of your thumb.

In a medium bowl, place the vinegar and sugar and then whisk in the olive oil. Add the beetroot with the basil and feta, stir to combine and keep at room temperature while finishing the rest of the dish.

Caramelised fennel lentils
1/3 cup canola oil
500g fennel bulb, finely diced
2 cups finely diced onion
1 tbsp finely diced garlic
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground finely
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 green lentils
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup EVOO

Place a frying pan on medium heat and once hot add the oil and then the fennel, onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low, add the fennel seeds and fry gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is soft and golden. Season and set aside.

Place the lentils and chicken stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils have absorbed all of the stock and are soft to bite. If they are still to hard and no stock is left, just add a little boiling water. Remove from the heat, stir through the fennel and olive oil. Add reserved fennel fronds and keep warm.
For the venison
1kg Mandagery Creek Venison roasting piece
Olive oil and seasoning to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Rub the meat with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place an oven-proof saucepan on the stovetop over a high heat, add the venison and brown really well on each side then put the whole thing in the oven for 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. To serve, place the lentils on each plate, top with the venison and a little relish.