03 February 2010

Late Winter Dinner ...

Last week, we received a visit from my sister and her hunter man! He'd been out with the boys hunting deer in Arkansas and scored big time! Oh, I love those guys! They shared the wealth! I currently have venison steaks, sausage, and stew meat in my freezer and I am psyched! I share with you a recipe that I developed after having an excellent venison entree at an inn up (over, down, whatever)  in Henniker (the only Henniker on Earth!), New Hampshire.

First of all, look at that photo. Doesn't that venison look like sushi-grade tuna? I think it does... and it's beautiful to my 'hick at heart' eye!

Venison is such a wonderful meat to work with. It's lean, flavorful, and has great texture ... as long as it's not overdone. THAT'S the key to working with it. I have, over the years, learned to keep a meal with venison as the meat portion very simple.  Your efforts should be concentrated on the venison. So tonight, I made oven- roasted potatoes, oven-roasted brussel sprouts with toasted walnuts and Parmesan, and ... this recipe. Donna says that Kevin, my nephew, has had the same preparation done with a blueberry reduction... an excellent idea! Tonight, though, I have dried currants and currant jelly in the fridge that needs using. So currant and red wine reduction, it is!

This is easy! The only hard thing is getting a venison source!  Good Luck!  And oh... if you can't get hold of some venison steaks, a beef tenderloin (cut into wonderful filets)  could easily be substituted, but I don't think I'd pound them... they shouldn't need it!

I hope these photos show you how lean this meat is and how a fast treatment can make it a real treat!

Venison Medallions with Red Currant Wine Sauce - printer friendly

Venison Medallions with Red Currant Wine Sauce


3 tbsp. white onion, minced
1 tbsp. butter
pinch black pepper
¼ c. red currants
½ c. red wine – Shiraz, Carmenière, Cabernet Sauvignon or other fruity, rich red wine
4 heaping tbsp. red currant jelly
2 venison steaks, cut in half or thirds
olive oil plus 1 tbsp. butter
flour for dredging
salt, pepper, and thyme for seasoning steak medallions
chopped parsley for garnish

Preparing the dish:

1. Sauté the onions, butter, and pepper in a small saucepan.
2. When the onions glisten, add the currants and red wine and bring to a brisk boil.
3. Add the red currant jelly and stir to break up the jelly and incorporate it into a sauce.
4. Simmer to reduce to a thickened reduction… when the reduction cools to a sugary coat on the spoon, remove from the heat and set aside.
5. Slice the steaks into medallions and place in a heavy Zip-lock bag. Pound to medallions about 1/3-inch thick.
6. Place on a plate and season with the salt, pepper, and thyme.
7. About 8 minutes before you want to serve dinner … heat a non-stick pan and add a thin layer of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter … heat to bubbling.
8. While the fat is getting hot, dredge the medallions in flour.
9. Add them to the hot pan and TIME them – 3 minutes per side.
10. While they are crisping on the first side, plate the rest of the meal.
11. After turning and crisping the second side for 3 minutes, slice and taste a small bite… venison MUST be rare/medium rare to remain tender.
12. Plate the venison, drizzle the sauce over it, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

Note: Keep your side dishes simple for this meat dish. Roasted potatoes, autumn veggies, a salad made ahead, whatever. Don’t mess with anything but the game! Got it? Timing is everything when it comes to game.

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