Seared Venison Steaks with Mushrooms and Gin Sauce

Venison is lean, well-flavoured and tender if it has been properly hung. Ask the butcher for the bones with the loin.

Ingredients

  • 675 g/ lb venison loin
  • about 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 225 g/ 8 oz carrots
  • 225 g/ 8 oz onion
  • handful of parsley
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 300 ml/ ½ pt red wine
  • 12 juniper berries
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp gin
  • 225 g/ 8 oz flat-cap mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 60 g/ 2 oz butter 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F/gas 9. Cut the meat into 12 small steaks, brush them with olive oil and reserve.

Chop the carrots, onion and parsley roughly and put in a roasting pan with the bones and the remaining olive oil. Brown in the oven for 20 minutes.

Transfer to the hob over a moderate heat. Add the red wine vinegar, then the red wine and 300 ml/ ½ pt of water. Bring to the boil, skim then lower the heat. Add the juniper berries, the lemon zest and the sugar, and simmer for 60 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve into a saucepan, add the gin and reduce to 150 ml/ ¼ pint. Reserve.

Cut the mushrooms into 1-cm / ½-inch slices and the garlic cloves into paper-thin slices. Put the garlic and the butter in a frying pan over a low heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavour to infuse. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms and sauté them for 2–3 minutes until wilted. Season, add the chopped parsley and toss. Turn off the heat and leave in the pan to keep warm.

Heat a dry frying pan until smoking hot. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and sear in the pan for 2 minutes on one side, 1 minute on the other.

Arrange 3 of the steaks on each of 4 warmed plates with mushrooms in between and pour the sauce round.

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