Cookbook Profile

Venison with Red Currant Sauce
Venado con Salsa de Grosella

Serves 6

Since my father and brothers hunted deer every fall (usually in the Picos de Europa, mountains in Asturias) I grew up enjoying venison. When I moved to the United States, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could buy venison in butcher shops and many supermarkets. You can also order it by phone, from D'Artagnan (800-DARTAGNAN or 973-344-0565). If you like game meat, you will love this dish.

For the venison:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves, minced or crumbled
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 pounds venison tenderloin or sirloin

For the sauce:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
10 bay leaves, minced or crumbled
1 cup red Rioja wine
1/2 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 cup red currant jelly
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons water (optional)

1. Cut 5 ounces of tips from the venison, and reserve them for the sauce. To prepare the rest of the venison, mix the oil, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves to a paste in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then rub the paste onto the meat. Put the meat into a shallow glass or ceramic dish, cover the dish, and refrigerate it for 3 to 8 hours.

2. To prepare the sauce, heat the oil over medium heat in a deep skillet or a pot. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, and bay leaves, and sauté them for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onions soften. Add the venison tips, and sauté for about 5 minutes longer, until the meat begins to brown. Add the wine, and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through.

3. Transfer the meat and wine mixture to a food mill, and press the mixture firmly to extract as much sauce as possible. Alternatively, purée the mix- ture in a food processor or blender. Return the sauce to the skillet, add the brandy or cognac and the jelly, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for about 5 minutes. For a thicker consistency, stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Cover the skillet, and keep the sauce warm.

4. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill, or preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Using a knife, scrape the herb mixture off the venison. Cut the meat into 1-1/2-inch-thick medallions, and season them to taste with salt and pepper. Grill or pan-sear them for 1 to 2 minutes on each side for rare meat. For medium-rare to medium, cook the meat for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Reheat the sauce gently, if necessary, while the meat cooks. Serve the meat immediately on heated plates with the sauce spooned over.


Buy the Book!


The Basque Table
Making Meals Fast and Fabulous

by Teresa Barrenechea
Harvard Common Press
$16.95 U.S.; $21.95 CAN.
ISBN: 1-55832-327-9
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created August 2006