Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Venison on pepper sauce with mashed potatoes

Hunting season brings a variety of game meat to the markets. While this particular sauce could be used for beef or pork tenderloin as well, it pairs really well with venison. It might look like it's a bit time consuming, but if you're preparing all your ingredients ahead of time, it's done fairly quickly and tastes wonderful. You could also serve noodles instead of mashed potatoes.


for 2 people:

for the pepper sauce:
5g (0.2 oz) white pepper corns, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 shotglass whiskey (could be replaced by rum)
1 slice of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 shallot, chopped
1,5 dl (5 oz) white wine
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (red is ok too)
1 twig of thyme
30g (1 oz) whipping cream
100 ml (3,5 oz) chicken stock
30g (1 oz) flakes of butter, put into freezer
freshly ground salt and pepper

for the mashed potatoes:
4-6 medium sized potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
milk, until desired consistency is reached

the meat:
2 venison fillets (or beef fillets or pork tenderloin)
freshly ground pepper and salt
2-4 tablespoons olive oil


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 80 C. (180 F.)

Grind pepper (not the white one!) preferrably in a mortar and season fillets well all around with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat, sauté strongly on both sides then place into pre-heated oven. Depending on the thicknes of your fillets, expect the meat to be in the low-temperature oven for at least 45 minutes.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, time is not very crucial for low-temperature cooking. You should be fine between 45 and 90 minutes. Just make sure you've sautéd the meat well enough before placing into the oven (about 5 minutes total).

For the sauce, sauté the white pepper corns over medium heat in the olive oil. Add whiskey (or rum) and flambé immediately. Never do this under the hood as the flames might get in there! And watch your hair too!

Add bacon and shallots and sauté for a few minutes. Then put white wine, balsamic vinegar and the thyme twig into the sauce. Let the liquid absorb completely before adding the chicken stock and the whipping cream. Let the sauce simmer over low heat.

For the mashed potates, wrap the peeled potatoes in plastic foil and microwave for about 3 minutes until soft. This is the easier way instead of boiling the potatoes.

In a large pot, add potatoes, butter and some milk and mash them over medium temperature until you have a fairly smooth paste.

Keep on adding milk if the mix is too thick. Keep the mashed potatoes warm with closed lid over low temperature.

Once your meat is almost ready, add the butter from the freezer into the sauce and move the sauce pan in circles for the butter to mix into the sauce. Don't stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove the thyme twig.

Serve your fillets sliced with mashed potatoes on the side and pour over the sauce. I would also recommend heating the plates first. At this low temperature in the oven, any plates should be fine to be put in there together with the meat for preheating. Enjoy!

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