Monday, 1 October 2012

Venison salad

With my freezer full of delicious venison, I get to start having some fun with it - cooking it!

Tonight I cooked a beautiful back steak. Back steak is delicious and tender and requires very little cooking. In fact, if you over cook it, it will be dry and tough and reasonably unpleasant to eat. You want it still pink in the middle.

I'm a huge fan of fruit with meat, particularly with venison. Venison loves to soak up the flavours of a delicious sharp fruit such as blackberry or cherry. So, I made a tasty, tasty cherry sauce. I used the following ingredients, you can adjust it to suit.

1 large heaped tablespoon of cherry jam
a small handful of dried cherries
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
2 small dried chillies
one orange, juice plus pulp
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup of port/red wine (I used a mixture of both)
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tsp honey

I boiled everything in a small pot, reduced to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the sauce reduced and thickened. It will go beautifully glossy and syrupy. Strain before serving and add the cherries back into the sauce.

I wanted to keep it simple, so I made a lovely green salad with capsicum, grapes and carrot.

I added some roasted kumara and yams.

Now to cook my lovely back steak. I cooked it for four minutes per side. For a great tip (and crucial to perfect venison-cooking) turn on the timer so you don't overcook it! Because this was a whole steak, I cooked it for a bit longer than I would for a standard steak. Normally I have a two minute per side rule.

Then, time to rest it for at least five minutes, before slicing it up.

I piled the venison on top of my salad and drizzled over my sauce - just like a bought one!! :-)

Talk about delicious. I seriously could eat this every night. Best dinner in a long time I reckon!!!

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