How to make Swedish venison with liquorice

Here's a traditional Swedish dish with a twist. Liquorice is very popular in Sweden and although it is usually associated with sweet dishes it goes really well with meats such as venison too.

How to make Swedish venison with liquorice
Marinated fillet of venison with liquorice sauce. Photo: John Duxbury

The combination of flavours in this dish is stunning and it makes a wonderful treat for a special occasion.


Serves two

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Total: 35 minutes (plus 30 minutes to marinate)


250g fillet of venison

1 small bunch of thyme

1 tbsp virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-2 tbsp red wine

1-2 tbsp liquorice syrup

1/2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp red currant jelly or rowan jelly

1/2-1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)


1. Put the venison, thyme, oil, salt and pepper in a plastic bag and mix the ingredients carefully. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat a frying pan until really hot, then add the venison, turning regularly until browned but still raw in the centre (5-8 minutes).

3. Wrap the venison in foil and wait 20 minutes before carving. After carving, cover the meat with foil and keep warm.

4. Return the juices from the meat to the pan and add a tablespoon of red wine and a tablespoon of liquorice syrup. Heat through and stir until thorougly mixed.

5. Add the red currant jelly and butter and stir until the sauce thickens a little.

6. Have a taste and add more red wine or more liquorice syrup if desired. If it is too sweet add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.

7. Pour the sauce over the carved meat and serve.


– If you can't find any liquorice syrup you can make your own easily by melting 25 g (1 oz) of pure liquorice with a tablespoon of water.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.

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Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon

If you have some leftover cinnamon from last week's cinnamon bun day, food writer John Duxbury shares his take on this classic salad, adding his own Swedish twist to it.

Swedish recipe of the week: coleslaw with cinnamon
The finished and garnished coleslaw. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes tend to eat a lot of raw vegetables so it is not surprising that coleslaw makes a regular appearance at mealtimes in Sweden. Adding cinnamon may seem a little strange, but a small amount adds a little interest. It goes well with robust foods such as with venison burgers.

Serves: 4-5

Level: Very easy

Preparation: 5 minutes (Plus 20 minutes for the cabbage to marinate)
Takes 25 minutes
300 g (12 oz) white cabbage (about half a cabbage)
1 medium cabbage
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Freshly chopped herbs to garnish

1. Remove the core of the cabbage and any blemished leaves.

2. Finely chop the cabbage into long thin strips. (You can do this with a julienne slicer fitted to a food processor if you have one.)

3. Peel and thinly slice the carrot.

4. Mix the cabbage, carrot, lemon juice, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss thoroughly. Leave to stand for about 20 minutes.

5. Tip the cabbage and carrot mixture into a colander and drain thoroughly.

6. Add the mayonnaise and mix thoroughly.

7. Garnish with a light coating of cinnamon and some chopped herbs.


– Don't add too much cinnamon. It needs to add interest without being overpowering.

– Don't be tempted to use reduce fat mayonnaise. We were, but the coleslaw wasn't nearly as nice as it somehow seemed to make it greasier. The amount of saturated fat in one portion is, in any case, fairly small, at under 2 grams, so we didn't feel too guilty eating coleslaw made with ordinary mayonnaise!

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of the Swedish Food website.