Clinton McIver, Owner Chef, Amaru Melbourne

Serves 6

Age venison backstrap / loin, on the saddle, for 10-30 days

Carefully take backstrap off the bone and trim up any excess dry meat. Portion the loin into 110g pieces and roll very tightly in cling film and allow at least 24 hours to set.

Venison sauce
10kg white chicken stock
5kg heavy roasted venison bones

Simmer bones in stock at 85C overnight.
Strain stock through an oil filter and reduce by 85%.
Check for taste and viscosity. Reserve.

Pine / spigarello oil
100g spigarello leaves
10g pine needles
400g grapeseed oil

Blend ingredients in Thermomix until 75C. Strain through oil filter and cool.

Pumpkin seed puree
220g braised pumpkin seeds
300g shallots, sliced
45g apple cider vinegar
20g honey
35g white miso
40g water
8g salt
80g Beechworth pale ale beer
2g xanthan
60g grapeseed oil
45g Hunted and Gathered 70% dark chocolate

Pressure cook pumpkin seeds until soft. Sweat shallots until soft, cool. Blend the pumpkin seeds and shallots with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Add a small amount of water if necessary, then emulsify fats in.
Season with salt and vinegar if necessary. Thicken with quick thick if necessary.

Nukazuke bed
1kg rice bran powder
150g non iodised salt
375g pale ale beer
3 cubes 10cm x 10cm Jap pumpkin, skinned

Roast rice bran to 160C for 13min to activate. Mix ingredients together and leave to ferment for 5 days.
Mix with bare hands every day for the bed to absorb and culture itself with natural bacteria. Bury skinned pumpkins in the bed and ferment for 3 days before slicing.

Persimmon Hoshigaki
1kg Persimmon, astringent

Peel persimmon and hang to dry for 10 days. Massage the fruit every day to avoid the centre from rotting. Dry until the texture is almost fudgy.

Black Walnut paste
250g pickled black walnut (in brine)
2.5g agar powder

Blend ingredients together. Bring to 95C, allow to set. Blend until smooth and cool.

Marigold flowers
Pick the petals and dry until completely dry

Parcel seasoning
100g dried cumquat
10g salt
1g citric acid

Ensure all ingredients are dry. Blend together into powder

Plating and Cooking
50g canola oil
50g brown butter
10 fresh cocoa beans, grated
10g persimmon vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Heat a pan with light amount of oil and parcel seasoning until smoking. Roll the venison loin over the heat to seal the protein. Cook the venison over the fire rotating to ensure even cooking until it comes to 44C.  Pull off the heat and allow to rest in a warm area up to 54.5C. Carve down the middle with the grain and brush with brown butter. Season with salty and freshly grated cocoa beans. In the centre of the plate apply a small dollop of black walnut paste (3-4 g). Slice the fermented pumpkin and cut into circles 6cm diameter.
Spray pumpkin with persimmon vinegar. Pipe pumpkin seed puree in the centre of the pumpkin and gently fold over. Cover with 2 slices persimmon hoshigaki and dried marigold flowers Spoon venison sauce in centre of the plate and split with the pine / spigarello oil. Sauce ratio is 10 parts sauce 1 part pine oil.