Thursday, 5 July 2012

Venison for a summer day

We tend to think of venison as a rich, hearty meat suitable for winter  casseroles, but the venison  steaks which many supermarkets sell all year round can make a light, summery dish too.

For this dish, I beat the steaks flat with a meat mallet (great stress  relief!) and marinated them for a couple of hours with some chopped thyme, crushed juniper berries and a splash each of olive oil and red wine vinegar.

I  fried some chopped onion and diced pancetta in a little more olive oil until almost cooked, then  pushed them to the edge of the pan while searing the venison in the remaining fat. I poured in about a teacupful of stock and let it bubble gently until the venison was tender and the sauce reduced. This can take as little as 5 minutes, depending on how thinly you have beaten the meat.

You could replace some or all of the stock with red wine, or ring the changes by adding some redcurrant jelly or fresh redcurrants.

I served this with the last of our home grown asparagus, new potatoes and steamed leeks to make a very summery meal of a traditionally wintery meat.

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