4 venison steaksDenver leg cut, approx 2.5-3cm thick (1-1¼ inch)
8 French shallotspelled
1 cup red wine
3 cups thick veal stock
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
freshly ground black pepper
I have had venison on 3 different continents and on each occasion it has tasted completely different from the last. Wow!! Does that ever sound pompous; when you write that word “Venison” it can’t help but be read that way, just pretend I said chicken and I won’t come across as a snob.
Anyhow apart from the obvious reasons for these differences such as whether the meat is farmed or wild, there are many other reasons. For example, the climate the animal lives in, the age of the animal and even the geography it lives in. For example a very hilly and sparsely vegetated landscape will produce a very different animal to one that has grown up in a fertile well vegetated valley or prairie.
Each of these different varieties of venison has its own redeeming qualities and should not be compared to the other; venison is a meat that should be enjoyed for its uniqueness. As many types of venison that are out there, there would have to be 10 fold as many ways to prepare it, and this one would have to be my personal favourite. The leanness of this particular cut of venison lends itself particularly well to the simplicity of this recipe.
- Preheat oven to 180 (350 fahrenheit).
- Remove venison from the fridge approx 1-2 hrs before cooking.
- Blanche the peeled shallots in boiling salted water for 5 minutes and drain.
- Roll the shallots gently in the brown sugar, season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté in a bit of butter until they are golden brown and soft to the centre.
- Meanwhile in a medium saucepan reduce the wine over medium heat until 3/4’s reduced, add the veal stock and reduce again by half.
- Season the venison steaks with a little salt and pepper on the top and bottom (on the end grain).
- Sear the steaks in a little butter and oil in a hot pan (approx 2 minutes per side).
- Place the seared steaks on a lightly oiled oven pan and cook in the oven for approx 6-7 minutes (the steaks will be rare to medium-rare when served, which is the best way to have such a lean cut).
- Remove from the oven and allow the steaks to rest approx 10 minutes.
- Serve on a bed of mash potato, with some wilted spinach to the side, a couple of shallots next to the steak and finish by pouring the red wine jus over the steak and shallots.