Swe-Dishes: SwedishFood.com’s Venison with Licorice Sauce

Photo: John Duxbury

Food & Drink

Swe-Dishes: SwedishFood.com’s Venison with Licorice Sauce

John Duxbury
Photo: John Duxbury

We at Umgås love to eat. And over the first year of our online magazine, we’ve met so many terrific chefs, cooks and foodies that we thought it would be fun to share some of their favorite recipes.

This week, John Duxbury, the editor and founder of SwedishFood.com, shares a hearty meal – venison with licorice sauce.

According to Duxbury, “The combination of flavors in this dish is stunning, and it makes a wonderful treat for a special occasion. Licorice, especially salt licorice, is very popular in Sweden, and although it is usually associated with sweet dishes it actually goes really well with venison.”

Duxbury prepared the dish for a demonstration on how to cook Swedish food at London’s Borough Market for SwedishFood.com.

“The audience at Borough Market loved it and gobbled up all the venison in no time at all,” he said. “Do try it: The combination of flavors is exciting and different.”


  • Venison fillet is sometimes called a venison cannon
  • If you can’t find any licorice syrup, you can make your own easily by melting 25 g (1 oz) of pure licorice (such as Pontefract Cakes) with a tablespoon of water
  • It is important that the meat is not overcooked. If you like well-done meat, choose another recipe!


Photo: John Duxbury

9 oz 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 licorice syrup (see tips)

½ tbsp butter

1 tbsp red currant jelly or rowan jelly

½-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, optional


  1. venison
    Photo: John Duxbury

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

  1. Heat a frying pan until really hot, then add the venison, turning regularly until browned but still raw in the center (5-8 minutes).
  1. Wrap the venison in foil and wait 20 minutes before carving. After carving,
    cover the meat with foil and keep warm.

    venison licorice
    Photo: John Duxbury
  1. Return the juices from the meat to the pan, and add a tablespoon of red wine and a tablespoon of licorice
    syrup. Heat through and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  1. Add the red currant jelly and butter and stir until the sauce thickens a little.
  1. Have a taste, and add more red wine or more licorice syrup if desired. If it is too sweet, add half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
  1. Pour the sauce over the carved meat and serve.

Serves 2

John Duxbury enjoys cooking Swedish food and went to the trouble of learning Swedish so he could read Swedish cookbooks. The love affair with Swedish food started as a result of numerous visits to Sweden when he was working with Swedish students. When he retired from teaching he decided to set up http://www.swedishfood.com so other people with an interest in Swedish cooking could benefit from his work.

© 2023 Swedish Match. All right reserved.

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