Cuisine Fiend

venison steaks with red sauce


Venison steak in red wine sauce

A little rant today: isn’t it bad when people who happily put away pigs, chickens and cows will balk at eating deer or rabbit (Bambi and fluffy bunny). They don’t however necessarily recoil at eating battery chickens or pigs farmed in inhumane conditions.

Surely it’s more ethical to eat an animal that had a happy life in the wild? If eat meat we must, game is the most environmentally fair. Humans are omnivores – gatherers but hunters too. A friend of mine used to say she’d only eat the animal she’d killed herself – that’s taking it a bit far in my view, I’d not rely on myself in delivering quick and painless butchery – but there’s a point.

The fluffy Bambi attitude is as bad as happily noshing bacon but shuddering at kidneys or liver. Killed the beast – now eat it all up, don’t waste it. It’s respect – North American Indians knew a thing or two about it, praying to the spirit of the animal for giving up its life to feed the people.

So let’s have venison – lean and flavoursome, possibly more than beef if you’re lucky. Loin is sureproof but staggeringly expensive, so the best end of haunch might be an equally good cut. I didn’t marinate the steaks but made a pan sauce instead, to dunk the cooked meat in for the flavor. Gutsy of course – red wine and a little sweetness will do the deer justice.

Venison steak

venison steaks with red sauce


  • 2 venison steaks cut from the rump end of the haunch
  • salt and pepper
  • a little oil for frying
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2tbsp butter


Heat up a frying pan to almost smoking, drizzle in a little oil. Season the venison steaks and cook them for 2 minutes on each side, or a little longer if they are very thick. This is for medium rare, but the cookedness can be further adjusted when you return them to the pan with the sauce, so for now shorter is better.

Lift the steaks out and place them on a warm plate, loosely covered with foil. Keeping the pan on the heat throw in the garlic, pour in the balsamic vinegar and the wine and turn the heat up. It should bubble ferociously. Add the redcurrant jelly and stir in. When the sauce has reduced by half (or just significantly thickened, whisk in the butter.

Venison and red sauce

Turn the heat down, return the steaks to the pan and turn them in the sauce. Serve immediately, but if you want them more cooked let them hang around in the sauce on small heat a bit longer, two to three minutes, turning once or twice.

Served here with wild mushrooms, Brussel sprouts and triple cooked chips.

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