November 18th, 2010
Venison is the name given to all deer meat, irrespective of whether it’s farmed or
hunted. Originally though, the word venison (from the Latin vénor) was applied to all types of hunted meat. Like other game, deer are normally hunted between October and December, though there are considerable variations, depending on type and sex.
The flavour of deer meat is slightly gamey, though similar to beef. Since deer are left to run around (even the farmed ones), they are lean and considered to be much lower in fat, calories and cholesterol. Farmed deer is generally more tender than wild deer, since it gets less exercise. It’s a good idea to marinate venison steaks before cooking, which helps to tenderise the flesh. Apparently, even farmed deer is free range, because they live in large areas of parkland and graze naturally.
Venison Steak recipe:
1 glass of red wine (or port if you’d like a sweeter sauce)
1 desert spoon of balsamic vinegar
2 desert spoons of olive oil
2 pieces of garlic (chopped)
4 or 5 crushed juniper berries
a little ground sea salt and black pepper
Additionally you will need a desert spoonful of plain flour and two knobs of butter.
Marinate your venison steak for 2 or 3 hours (overnight would be fine) and remove before cooking, though keep the marinade to make a sauce.
Heat a griddle pan and add a knob of butter when it’s hot. Cook your venison for 2 – 3 minutes per side. It’s best served medium rare, since it toughens up with prolonged cooking. Remove the meat to a warm plate and let it rest.
I would suggest making the sauce in a separate pan, since it’s not easy with a griddle pan. Heat a knob of butter in a small frying pan and once it has dissolved, stir in a desert spoonful of plain flour. Keep stirring until the flour and butter have combined, then slowly add the marinade, stirring all the time. In order to retain the cooking juices and flavour from the griddle pan, I would suggest adding the sauce to the griddle pan or deglazing the griddle pan with a little red wine which you can then add to the sauce. Taste your sauce and season with a little salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve your venison with the sauce and seasonal vegetables. Some people like a little red currant jelly or cranberry sauce with their meat.