This is a very quick and easy way of cooking fillets of venison. It’s the centrepiece of an intimate dinner party for four…. or you could increase the quantities to serve six, but I would not advise making this for more.
Serve it together with a celeriac dauphinois (which takes an hour or so in the oven, but can be made a few days ahead), and offer a Chamonix winter salad with beetroot crisps as the starter, and a whiskied marmalade brioche as the pud.
You can sear ahead of time so that all you have to do is to put the venison into the oven for just eight minutes – which will give you nice rare meat. You can do this while you are having a drink with your guests, and then leave the meat to rest while you have your starter.
Recipe for pomegranate (or redcurrant) venison
- 4 small venison fillets (allow 150g each)
- sunflower oil for frying
- 4 tbsp (about half a jar) of pomegranate jelly (try Dart Valley Foods’ Butler’s Grove pomegranate jelly, available from most farm shops, I go to Newlyn’s. If Life Is Too Short to find pomegranate, use redcurrent jelly)
- 4 x tbsp red martini – or maybe a bit more
- 1 x tbsp sundried tomato paste
- 1 x tbsp dried herbes de Provence
- a square or two of very dark chocolate
- 120 ml/½ cup beef stock (made with an Oxo cube is fine)
- Preheat the oven to 210°C (use the top right aga oven)
- season the venison fillets
- cover the surface of the frying pan with the oil, get it nice and hot and then brown the fillets on all sides (even the ends) – about two minutes each side – to seal in the juices and the flavour. Or rather, NOT in order to seal in the juices, but so as to make the meat taste better… why am I saying this? Go here for a technical explanation.
- then rub in the jelly and put in a deepish (to make gravy) baking tray
- as I mention above, all the steps above can all be done a couple of hours ahead.
- put the fillets in for about eight minutes if you like your meat rare. Very thick pieces may need a little longer.
- take out, put on a plate and cover with foil, leaving to rest about ten minutes.
- make the gravy by deglazing the roasting tin with a generous slosh of red martini or marsala, some sundried tomato paste, and the dried herbs. It should be a beautiful rich chocolatey silky brown colour…. you could add the odd square of very dark chocolate if you have some to hand. You will need a bit more, so add stock cautiously.
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