A great dish to impress your friends with and a nice, healthy change from steak because venison is very low in fat. The steaks in this recipe are from the ‘haunch’, which is the equivalent of beef topside. They need very hot, fast cooking – linger too long and you’ll have a couple of old boots on your plate. The red wine sauce to accompany it takes a bit of effort, but can you save it in jars and put it in your freezer. It’s ‘winey’ and sweet with a real depth to complement the richness of the meat.
- 2 venison haunch steaks
- For the red wine sauce
- (makes around 600ml)
- 1tbsp sunflower oil
- Half carrot, peeled and chopped into chunks
- Half onion, peeled and chopped into chunks
- Half leek, chopped into chunks
- 1 stick of celery, chopped into chunks
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1tsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 2 juniper berries, crushed
- 2 cloves, crushed
- 2tbsp tomato puree
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 large sprigs of thyme
- 300ml red wine
- 500ml chicken stock
- 50g redcurrant jelly
Make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and stir fry all the veggies for around 10 mins, until they start to caramelise. This brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables.
Add the spices and herbs, followed by the tomato puree. Stir through and cook for a further minute or two.
Add the wine and bring to the boil. Then add the redcurrant jelly.
Cook on the hob on the lowest possible heat for about 90 mins. Add water if it starts to get low on liquid.
Strain the stock through a sieve into a saucepan. Put the pan on the hob and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20-30 mins, to reduce the sauce by half. Allow to cool and transfer to clean jars until needed.
For the steaks. Remove from the fridge at least an hour before cooking, then drizzle them with sunflower oil. Heat a griddle pan to very hot, then cook the steaks for 2 mins each side, flipping every 15 seconds. Transfer to a warm plate to rest for a couple of minutes.
Meanwhile, transfer the sauce to a pan and reduce further by simmering. Add a little cornflour mixed with water to thicken, if necessary, or continue to reduce until you have just a couple of spoonfuls of sticky consistency.
Serve with buttery stove-top roast potatoes and crispy stir-fried black cabbage.
Top tip for making Venison steaks with red wine sauce
If you want a thicker, stickier sauce, reduce it right down by boiling. If you want it glossier, whisk in a knob of butter just before serving.