Amayjen, pronounced Imagine, is situated in Feilding and is owned by Andrew and Jenni May. Chef Andrew takes great pride in sourcing fresh local and seasonal ingredients to ensure that their menu is varied.

Andrew left New Zealand over 20 years ago and travelled the world, working in five-star establishments and winning Scottish Chef of the Year 2009/10.

With his great knowledge of New Zealand ingredients, Andrew makes use of modern techniques to enhance flavours, and innovative presentation styles as a feast for the eyes.

Andrew shares his delicious Fallow Deer recipe for you to try at home.

Sous Vide Loin of Fallow Deer, Venison Shank Pie, Fondant Potato, Roasted Vegetables and a Port Wine Sauce

This dish sits within the beef chapter as venison has a flavor reminiscent of beef, but is richer and can have a gamey note. Venison tends to have a finer texture and is leaner than comparable cuts of beef. However, like beef, leaner cuts can be tougher as well.

Fallow Deer by Andrew May of Amayjen

1 loin of fallow deer
20g onion ash
1 sheet flaky puff pastry
120g venison shank (braised and shredded)
20g onion, finely diced
20g carrot (cooked)
50ml reduced braising liquor
1 large agria potato (peeled)
250ml chicken stock
100g butter
2 garlic gloves
2 bay leaves
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 beetroot – golden, red, leaves (garnish)
1 parsnip – turned, honey
10g black garlic
1/2 bunch kale

Fallow Deer

  • Remove sinew, roll in onion ash and seasoning
  • Roll seasoned loin tightly in glad wrap in a sausage shape and tie ends
  • Place in vacuum sealed bag and seal
  • Cook Sous vide at 56°C for 40 minutes
  • Remove and let rest before presenting on plate

Venison Shank Pie

  • Devise pastry between 4 small pie tins
  • Season venison shank and combine with onion, carrot and reduced braising liquor
  • Place a few teaspoons of mixture into the pie cases, top with pastry and seal
  • Brush with egg wash and bake at 170°C for 16 minutes

Fondant Potato

  • Cut potato into quarters and shape as you want
  • Place potatoes in oven proof pan with chicken stock, butter, garlic cloves, bay leaves and salt and pepper
  • Bring to a boil on the stove
  • Remove the pan and place into the oven at 170°C for 12 minutes

Port Wine Sauce

  • Place shallots in thick bottom saucepan
  • Slightly caramelize, add port wine and reduce to a glaze
  • Add beef stock, reduce by half
  • Add port wine jelly, dissolve
  • Strain into fresh pan and whisk in butter and it’s ready to serve.

Parsnip Puree

  • Add parsnips (peeled and chopped) plus trimmings, chicken stock and cream together
  • Gently cook until tender
  • Place in a processor and blitz until smooth
  • Season if needed and it’s ready to serve


  • Slice beetroot from garnish, blanch for 10 seconds also for dehydrating in crisps
  • Roast others in tinfoil, with a splash of oil and water, season until tender
  • Shape parsnips and keep trimmings for puree
  • Sauté in a little oil until slightly coloured, a little honey and seasoning
  • Roast for 3 minutes at 170°C
  • Remove outer leaves of Brussels, cut in half
  • Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes
  • Remove, toss in hot butter and season
  • Puree black garlic, put in piping bag, dot on plate
  • Deep fry fresh kale leaves for 15 seconds, remove, drain and season

Place parsnip puree in centre of plate, add venison in centre, pie and fondant either side, using remaining vegetables place around the centre. Finish with crispy kale and beetroot leaves and finally pour on the sauce.

Check out Amayjen’s website for their delicious menu, including the [email protected] takeaway menu.

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