French Onion Soup, Pulled Venison and Le Gruyère Crouton

French Onion Soup, Pulled Venison and Le Gruyère Crouton by Ashleigh Farrand at The Kingham Plough

A classic French dish from Ashleigh Farrand at The Kingham Plough enhanced with wild venison from Lincolnshire Game and Tahoon Cress by Koppert Cress with world-award-winning Le Gruyère.


Serves 4

  • ½ bone in venison shoulder
  • 2kg large white onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 leek
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 3 spring thyme
  • 65g butter
  • 10g dark brown sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 250ml white wine
  • 1 baguette
  • 160g grated Le Gruyère


  1. Start by braising the venison shoulder in the oven overnight. Brown off 1 onion, the carrot, leek and celery. Add the venison on top with thyme and garlic and cover 3⁄4 of the way with water. Cook overnight or for 8 hours on 100c (fan).
  2. Once cooked remove the venison and strain the stock. Set aside 1.2 ltr stock for the soup and reduce the remaining stock down by half.
  3. To make the soup, slice and add the onion and sweat down in butter until lightly coloured. Once browning, add the sugar and cook until sweet and soft.
  4. Add the garlic for a minute and then add the flour. Cook the flour out.
  5. Add the wine. Once thickened, add the stock slowly. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. For the croutons. Pull the cooked venison and mix through the reduced stock. Add onto some toasted baguette, top with gruyere and grill until crispy. Serve on top of the soup.

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