RECIPE: Spiced venison with mild mushroom and truffle sauce

upload picThis week’s ‘weekend recipe’ sponsored by Prestons Liquor Stores is spiced venison with mild mushroom and truffle sauce. This recipe pairs perfectly wit Kleine Zalze: Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot / Cabernet Franc.

This is a really tasty dish that can be prepared in advance – apart from the actual cooking of the meat.

The weight of fillet from red deer can vary from around 250 – 400g/9 – 14 oz, but if you use a roe fillet, it will weigh only about 100g / 3 1/2 oz and so you must reduce the cooking time drastically (and use a fillet per person). Whichever type of venison you use, remember always to under-cook and allow to rest for a perfect even pinkness and tender meat. Serve with pappardelle or soft polenta.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients 

1 level tbsp whole black peppercorns
1 level tbsp whole juniper berries
1 whole venison fillet , trimmed (about 350g / 12 oz)
2 tbsp olive oil
Truffle oil
Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
40g / 1 1/2 oz dried porcini ( ceps), rinsed
200 ml / 7 fl oz/ 1/3 pint dry white wine
40g / 1 1/2 oz butter
2 shallots or half a small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g / 7 oz fresh mushrooms, wiped and chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
150 ml / 5 fl oz/ 1/4 pint double cream

Method

Toast the peppercorns and juniper in a dry frying pan over a high heat for about 3 minutes, shaking often, until a strong spicy smell emerges. Tip into an electric grinder – or use a mortar and pestle —and grind until coarsely ground. Brush the venison with 1 tbsp oil then press in the spices. Leave on a plate somewhere cool for a couple of hours.

To make the sauce, soak the dried mushrooms in the wine for at least 20 minutes then strain, reserving the wine. Heat the butter in a pan and gently fry the shallots/onion and garlic for 2 – 3 minutes then add the mushrooms (soaked and fresh) and stir. Cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until tender.

Increase the heat and sprinkle over the flour, . Cook for 1 minute, stirring, then add the reserved wine and the cream, stirring constantly. Bring to the boil then simmer, uncovered, for 5 – 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Season to taste and set aside.

To cook the meat, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan (preferably one that can go into the oven) and, once hot, add the venison and brown all over : this takes 4 – 5 minutes. Season with sea salt as you brown it. Then transfer the pan to a preheated oven ( 220°C/425°F/Gas7) and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Remove the meat and place on a warm plate. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Carve the rested meat and serve with some of the sauce and a few shakes of truffle oil on top

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