Before we moved to Wimborne St Giles in order to establish our cookery school, I ran my own catering company that was located just outside of Poole.  From my commercial kitchen we prepared party menus for clients all across the county and many further afield.  Sometimes travelling to London for an exclusive event.  We loved planning drinks parties, especially if the client required a themed menu or was just as enthusiastic about seasonal food as we were. As we prepare for the Christmas countdown, I wanted to share this recipe for one of our most requested canapés and hope that you enjoy making it for your friends too.

Dorset Roe Buck Canapé


For 20 canapés you will need:


1 x 250g (8oz) piece of venison loin – with even thickness

20 chantenay carrots – pick the smallest you can find to roast whole or cut larger ones in two

1 tablespoon olive oil

Freshly ground salt and pepper

Fresh sage leaves – select smallest at tip of plant

Red currant jelly or ideally homemade sloe or bramble jelly.



 Pre-heat conventional oven to 210 C or Gas Mark 8

To cook in a 2-oven or 4-oven AGA – slide grid shelf of roasting oven to middle runners.

Trim loin and rub with olive oil or see cooks tips*.

Pre-heat a metal handled frying pan (for AGA cooking) on boiling plate or highest setting on your conventional hob.  Sear meat on all sides.

Then if using a conventional oven place loin on a baking tray and cook in oven for approx 6-10 minutes depending on thickness, to serve rare.  Alternatively transfer meat in oven proof pan to AGA roasting oven.  Allow 5- 8 minutes cooking time.

Remove from oven when done and place on a clean tray, allow to rest and cool.

Meanwhile wash and trim carrots, place on a roasting tray, brush with olive oil and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.  Cook in hot oven until tender.  Allow to cool.

Once meat reaches room temperature carve venison on diagonal, place each slice on clean chopping board, top with a small sage leaf and bite size piece of carrot, roll and secure with a cocktail stick, top with a jewel size dollop of jelly and serve immediately.


Cooks Tip – Visit your local butcher or farmers market for venison.  You may need to order this in advance.

Alternatively select a canon or best end of lamb and remove all of the bones and silver skin.  Use fresh mint instead of sage.

*For extra flavour you may wish to marinate the loin in olive oil with crushed garlic and chopped thyme over night.  Store in the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before searing in a hot pan.

Canapés really should be one mouthful, so that they are easy to eat whilst your guests are chatting and holding a glass in the other hand. Take care to keep everything bite size.