Juniper-Crusted Venison with Sour Cherry Beurre Rouge. This rich venison dish is the perfect Sunday night dinner.
800g venison fillet or medallions
1 tbsp juniper berries, crushed with a mortar and pestle
2 tbsp olive oil
Sour Cherry Beurre Rouge
1⁄2 cup vermouth
2⁄3 cup dried sour cherries, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry red wine
3⁄4 beef stock
2 shallots, sliced into rings
2 tbsp green peppercorns in brine, drained
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
Pat the venison dry. Coat all sides with the crushed juniper berries and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the vermouth until steam rises, then remove from the heat and add sour cherries. Set aside to steep.
Add the olive oil to a cast- iron skillet. Heat the skillet over a medium-high heat and hard sear the venison for 5-7 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove from the heat. Transfer the venison to a plate and tent with foil while the meat rests.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine over a medium-high heat, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, vermouth and cherries, shallots, peppercorns and vinegar, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by half.
Turn the heat down to low and add the butter, a few cubes at a time, whisking continuously to emulsify. Continue adding the butter and whisking until it has all been added. The sauce should be thick and satiny. Taste, season with salt and pepper as necessary, and serve immediately.
Slice venison into 1⁄4-inch thick slices and arrange on a plate topped with spoonfuls of the sour cherry beurre rouge. Great with sour cream mashed potatoes on the side.