Margarita's International Recipes


Ciervo con Salsa de Grosellas

Venison with Red Currant Sauce

While venison is not a staple of Basque diet, deer are native to the Basque country and they have been enjoyed for generations. This recipe uses a traditional sauce base (a sofrito of onions and herbs, sweetened with cognac) and enhances it by the addition of red currant jelly. Interestingly, it also uses venison as an additional sauce ingredient - a technique I hadn't used before.

The results, while interesting, were not as good as I expected. The taste of the cognac overwhelmed the other ingredients in the sauce and did not blend well with them. If you make it, consider decreasing or even eliminating the cognac.

I made very few changes from the original recipe, but I did decrease the amount of meat it called for (from 4 to 2 lbs) as I was serving this as a second course to 4 people. Even then, there was meat left over. I didn't decrease the amount of the marinade (I figured the surface of 2 lbs of venison is not that much smaller than of 4 lbs of venison) or the sauce and of course, I had a lot of sauce left over. I also used venison flank instead of the tenderloin or sirloin the original recipe asked for. I could find frozen venison flank for $8 a lb at the 99Ranch supermarket - while venison tenderloin (available at Polarica) would have cost $14 a lb and would have required me to go to San Francisco. I also used red currant preserves rather than jelly because that's what I could find (at Cost Plus). I cooked the meat using the George Foreman blah blah blah Grilling Machine and that worked well. Venison is an inherently lean meat so it didn't lose as much fat as if I'd cooked beef.

Venison with Red Currant Sauce


For the venison

For the sauce


Prepare the venison. Combine olive oil, thyme, parsley and bay leaves in a small bowl, mix well. Season venison with salt and pepper. Rub oil mixture onto the venison, place in a shallow glass dish, cover and refrigerate for 3-8 hours.

Prepare the sauce. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme, parsley and bay leaves. Saute until the onions soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the venison tips and cook until the meat starts to brown. Add the wine and cook uncovered until the meat is cooked, about 10 minutes.

Put the mixture in a food processor or blender and puree. Return the sauce to the frying pan, add the brandy and red currant preserves and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Cook. Scrape the marinade off the venison. Cut into medallions and season with salt & pepper. Grill or pan-sear until done. Cover with sauce and serve.

Adapted from The Basque Table.

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