While there are many rustic recipes for preparing wild game, this recipe highlights the elegance of game meats. The combination of unfussy seasoning with a twist on a classic sauce allows the pure gaminess of the meat to come through.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 bay leaf
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup cabernet sauvignon or another dry red wine
2 cups veal or beef stock
1 cup fresh blackberries
2 pounds venison loin roast
Salt and pepper
1/4 stick butter
Start with the sauce. In medium-sized saucepan, melt butter. Add shallots and saute until translucent. Add black pepper, bay leaf and thyme. Continue cooking 2 minutes. Add wine and stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low. Let simmer until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Strain sauce and keep warm over low heat.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Season roast generously with salt and pepper. In medium-sized frying pan (I prefer cast iron), heat vegetable oil over high heat. When hot, sear venison on all sides. Add butter and baste roast to prevent it from drying out. When all the sides have developed a crusty exterior, put the whole pan in the oven and let roast until internal temperature reaches 155 for medium rare (about 20 minutes.)
While the roast rests for 10 minutes, add blackberries to the warm bordelaise sauce. Stir to mix. The point isn’t to cook the blackberries, but to incorporate them into the sauce. Slice roast against the grain. Add any accumulated juices to the sauce and spoon over meat.