Venison steaks with a rich chocolate and blackberry sauce

This is a quick and luxurious (although not that expensive since venison is now cheaper than beef and lamb) dinner for two, with an even more luxurious chocolate and blackberry sauce.

It goes perfectly with truffled butternut squash; and Brussels sprouts with munchy seeds (leave out the frankfurter).

You can cook the sauce (as well as the squash, and the brussels sprouts) ahead and reheat. That just leaves you frying the steaks at the last moment.

If you have a small fillet (these fillets were, in fact, muntjac fillets) you can cook them in a very similar way.

If you have any leftover venison steak follow this link for an idea of what to do with it.

Feeling flush? This goes very well with a bottle of Chateau Simard.

You can get both venison and muntjac from Robinson Wild Foods, who supply the trade as well as retail.

Recipe for venison steaks with a rich chocolate and blackberry sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 venison loin steaks, about 180g/7oz each, not too thick. Alternatively you can use small fillets
  • large knob of butter (about 40g/2oz)
  • sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 2 teasp lemon juice (from squeezy is ok)

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 120ml/½ cup chicken stock (ideally bought from supermarket, not made with powder)
  • 60 ml/¼ cup/4 tbsps bottle of red vermouth plus more to deglaze
  • about 2 tbsp pomegranate or redcurrant jelly
  • four or five frozen blackberries
  • 1 banana shallot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • salt and pepper
  • a couple of squares of good quality dark chocolate

Method

  1. In a large saucepan boil up the stock, wine, jelly, blackberries, celery and shallot, and reduce to about half.
  2. Blend with a stick blender.
  3. Reduce a bit more, whisk in the chocolate (with the stick blender) and remove from the heat immediately, keep warm.
  4. In the same pan put some more vegetable oil and some butter and get the fat as hot as you can without allowing it to burn.
  5. Cook the venison steaks for about five minutes on each side. If you have very thick steaks (the ones I’ve just had were whoppers about 2½ inches/5 cm thick) they may need another five minutes.
  6. Pour over the lemon juice and move to a carving board, cover with foil and leave to rest for about ten minutes.
  7. Deglaze the frying pan with some (2-3 tbsp) Marsala and add to the sauce.
venison steaks with butternut squash and nutty brussels sprouts recipe

If you’re interested in learning about game, we have an episode all about it on our podcast Serving Up Sustainability! You can listen below.

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