The posh cut, venison loin, cooked medium and served with chocolate sauce: that’s an impressive fine dining style dish easily prepared.
Venison loin is the choicest cut of this game meat and thus pricey, and difficult to come by. You can find it at good butchers’, and it usually will need to be specially ordered. It is very expensive but impressive, delicious and easy to cook so ideal for a special occasion.
Top restaurants offer it on their menus, charging top dollar of course. I first encountered the combination of venison fillet and chocolate sauce at Cliveden House restaurant, a very swish place indeed.
The match is wonderful, two earthy flavours of dark chocolate and rich game meat complementing each other perfectly.
Plus, there are remarkably transcendent benefits to putting venison on your menu.
Venison is sustainable
Sustainable and ethical: wild deer population needs to be managed in order to protect farming, as those creatures will happily eat through a plot of lettuce or stampede across a field of wheat.
Meat from farmed deer is also available and it is completely free range too.
The Bambi reservation that some people have towards eating venison is completely ridiculous – eating ugly pigs is okay then on aesthetic grounds only? What a lookist attitude.
Venison is healthy
Full of iron and nutrients, venison is far more interesting than fatty pork or bland chicken. Its fat content, especially saturated fats, is lower than a skinless chicken breast. It has the highest protein and the lowest cholesterol content of any major meat.
And it’s deliciously tender when handled correctly, salting the meat in advance being the most important trick.
How to prepare venison loin?
I spied the method of wrapping a venison portion off the searing pan in a butter wrapper, to finish off in the oven, on a Gordon Ramsay show, absolute ages ago. It is an excellent way of keeping that lean cut succulent – and put the wrapper to a good use too.
So how easy it is to cook the precious loin? Very easy indeed.
Salting ahead as per my mantra is important as usual, and then the pricey chunks need to be seared very quickly in a hot pan, basted with butter and given just five minutes in the oven, in the said butter wrap.
Obviously, for a lack of an empty wrapper use lightly greased foil or parchment.
How to make chocolate sauce for venison?
Whatever you might expect to the contrary, chocolate sauce for meat is not at all sweet and you shouldn’t use leftovers to pour over ice cream.
The base is made classically, by sweating onions or shallots with bay leaf and thyme. Beef stock and red wine are used as liquid ingredients and the dark chocolate is melted into strained base.
At this stage it needs to be handled gently and kept only at a simmer if reducing it to thicken, or the chocolate might split.
More venison recipes
A slice of venison haunch can be turned into a delightful steak with red wine sauce made with pan juices. And it doesn’t cost a fortune.
Chocolate sauce pairing with venison is a fabulous match indeed. This time roast venison haunch, perfectly tender and cooked medium rare.
The less choice cuts can be used in a casserole, with mushrooms and red wine, slowly cooked in the oven.