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Warm Cervena And Blueberry Salad

Warm Cervena And Blueberry Salad

Cervena is the trade-mark name for export quality venison, farmed only in New Zealand. Its lean nature and delicate flavour is very popular in overseas market. You may need to seek out a good butcher for the cervena. It is a true kiwi marketing success story and this idea is great to cook on the BBQ over summer.


  • 4 small red onions, peeled
  • 6 baby beetroots, washed
  • 1-2 tblsp oil (olive is best)
  • 600 gram piece Cervena Denver Leg (see Cook’s Tip)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 120 gram packet fresh baby salad leaves (or salad leaves for 4)


  1. Cut each onion into 6-8 wedges. Cut each baby beetroot into 4-6 wedges.
  2. Arrange onion and beetroot wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush lightly with oil. Roast at 220°C for 18-20 minutes or until tender.
  3. Trim any sliver skin from the meat. Tie meat with string to keep in shape. Brush with oil and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Heat a dash of oil in a heavy-based frying pan and cook the meat over a high heat for 10-12 minutes, turning regularly. Transfer to a plate, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. The cervena can also be cooked on a hot barbecue.
  5. Heat balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, remove from heat and toss in the blueberries.
  6. Finely slice the venison and toss gently with the baby salad leaves. Place on a serving platter and scatter over the hot blueberry mix and juices.
  7. Toss and serve immediately.

Cooks Tips

- Denver Leg is the name given to the trimmed cuts from the hind leg. The meat is very lean and best served rare to medium rare. If you cannot find cervena, use beef fillet.

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