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Author: Stefan Schmidt
Pictures: Daniel Kania

Venison with a coffee hit

Venison pairs perfectly with all manner of ingredients, from wine and fruit to berries and red cabbage. But how about coffee? Hunter and chef Jonas Baumgärtner shows that this combination gives venison a special kick. It pairs wonderfully with potatoes, sautéed honeydew melon and apple chutney. 

If there’s game on the dining table, it’s usually venison haunch. The classic way to serve it is with red cabbage and potato dumplings. “That’s a little outdated,” says hunter and chef Jonas Baumgärtner, who runs two restaurants under the name “der wilde Wirt” in Ulm and Markbronn. Instead, Jonas adds a touch of exoticism to venison haunch, serving it with coffee, melon and chutney.  

Tip: An entire haunch of venison will usually feed six people. If you’re only cooking for two or three, you can break down the haunch (i.e. cut it into smaller pieces), using only what you need. It’s a great way to portion the meat and freeze it if needed.  

Let’s get started!

On the menu today, we have venison haunch with coffee, potatoes, sautéed honeydew melon, apple chutney and a port wine jus. 


Serves 2 

  • 1 topside of venison haunch 
  • 150g potatoes 
  • 100g cream 
  • 70g butter 
  • 2 shallots 
  • ½ honeydew melon 
  • 1 tart, crunchy apple 
  • 150ml apple juice 
  • 400ml game stock 
  • 125ml port wine 
  • Lovage 
  • Salt, pepper, ground coffee, brown sugar 
  • ½ tbsp. starch 
  • 1 tbsp. cider vinegar  
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 

Finely dice the apple into small cubes, add to a pan with the apple juice and vinegar and bring it to a simmer. Add the starch to thicken and then leave aside to cool. 

Peel and boil the potatoes. 

While the potatoes are boiling, briefly seal the venison topside all over and then rub with salt, pepper, ¼ tsp. coffee powder and 1 tsp. brown sugar. Place in the oven at 80°C (175°F) on top/bottom heat setting until it reaches a core temperature of 54°C (129°F) – use a meat thermometer to get this right. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, leave them to cool and then cut into cubes. Sauté the cubed potatoes in a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Leave them to cool briefly and then combine with the cream and chopped lovage.  

Remove the melon peel and cut into large chunks. Sauté in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

To make the sauce, simmer the game stock in a pan until reduced by half. While the sauce is cooking, dice the shallots and cook in a separate pan with 30g butter until translucent. Deglaze with the port wine and reduce by half Then add the reduced game stock, bring to a simmer and season with balsamic vinegar, sugar and pepper. Flake the remaining butter into the sauce and use a hand blender to foam it slightly. 

Remove the meat from the oven and slice. Serve on large plates with the apple chutney, melon and potatoes. Drizzle a little sauce over the top and it’s ready to go. Bon appétit! 

By the way, you can find a full overview of all our game recipes here. 

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