• Seared Venison Back Strap recipe from Al Brown, April 2010

    Al’s venison 'golden rule' is this: when cooking the finer cuts of venison such as the fillet or the back strap, never over-cook. Venison is extremely lean and should never be cooked more than medium, otherwise it will render the meat dry and grainy! Now try Al’s delicious recipe…

    Seared Venison Back Strap with Mushroom Fricassee,
    Buttered Swede, Cherry Relish and Truffle Oil.

    Serves 8 as a Main course

    Step 1. Cherry Relish


    1kg Frozen Cherries (thawed & de-pipped)
    2/3 Cup Sugar
    ½ Cup Sherry Vinegar
    2 tsp Mixed Spice
    1 Tbsp Garlic (Minced)
    ½ Cup Shallots (Minced)
    - Salt & Pepper to season.

    Method……Place all the ingredients, except the salt and pepper, in a suitable heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over low heat until reduced into a jam-like consistency. Cool then taste and season with Salt and Pepper accordingly. Refrigerate, will keep indefinitely.

    Step 2. Buttered Swede


    1kg Grated Fresh Swede
    100gm Butter
    1 ½ Cups Chicken Stock
    12 Fresh Sage Leaves
    - Salt and Pepper

    Method… . In a saucepan over low heat, place the grated swede, butter, chicken stock and sage leaves. Mix together then place the lid on the saucepan. Keep on low heat and stir every 5 or so minutes. Remove the lid after 20 minutes and finish cooking. It’s ready when all of the stock and butter has been absorbed in to the grated swede and it’s soft through the bite.
    Season with salt and pepper then cool and refrigerate until required.

    Step 3 Mushroom Fricassee


    75gms Butter
    - Cooking Oil
    250gm Shitake Mushrooms (stalks removed)
    250gm Portabella Mushrooms (rough chopped)
    250gm Oyster Mushrooms
    250gm Button Mushrooms
    ½ cup Shallots (minced)
    2 Tbsp Garlic (minced)
    2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme (Fine chop)
    3 Tbsp Fresh Sage (Fine chop)
    - Salt & Fresh Black Pepper

    Method………In a large saucepan add the butter and some cooking oil. Place on high heat then add all the rest of the ingredients. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the mushrooms out for 20 or so minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has been full absorbed. Season with Salt and Pepper and keep warm until required or refrigerate.

    Step 4 Cooking , Plating and Serving


    1.5kg Venison Back Strap (Fillet or similar)
    1.5 Tbsp Fresh Sage (Fine chop)
    1.5 Tbsp Fresh Thyme (Fine chop)
    - Salt & Fresh Black Pepper
    - Cooking Oil
    - Buttered Swede
    - Mushroom fricassee
    - Reduced Beef stock (demi) or Gravy
    - Cherry Relish
    - Truffle / Porcini oil (optional)

    Method…….Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. For the venison, remove any visible silver skin and cut the back strap into two pieces. Rub a little oil over the venison and liberally dust with the fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

    Heat up a skillet or oven-proof pan on high heat. Add a little cooking oil, then carefully add the two bits of venison. Sear on all sides until golden, then place in the oven to finish cooking. It should take between 5 and 10 minutes oven time and be medium rare to medium in doneness. Remove and rest for another 8 – 10 minutes or so.

    While the venison is resting, heat up the buttered swede, mushroom fricassee and gravy.

    To plate, divide the buttered swede into the centre of pre-warmed plates. Slice the venison and top the swede with 3 or 4 pieces. Spoon the mushroom fricassee over and around, likewise the gravy. To finish drizzle a little truffle oil over each plate and add a dollop of cherry relish. Serve Pronto with generous amounts of red wine!

    Blogger's note: Al doesn't have a photo of this delicious dish, so if you make it, please take a photo and send it to me at anna@poronui.com, and I'll upload it.

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