This is an Old World-style sauce that goes well with lean red meat such as venison. It would also fit with wild boar, or grass-fed beef. It would not, however, be good with normal, fatty beef. You want the juxaposition of lean meat and rich sauce here. The sauce takes a bit of doing, but it will almost certainly be something your family’s never seen before.
- 4-8 venison medallions
- Salt and black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- Small sprigs of dill to garnish
- 1 pint venison or beef stock
- 1/2 pound peeled chestnuts (frozen is fine)
- 1 small sprig rosemary, about 2 inches long
- Salt to taste
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- Make the sauce. Simmer (do not boil) the chestnuts in the stock in an uncovered pot for 45 minutes. In the lastÂ 20 minutes, add the rosemary.
- Remove the rosemary and puree everything in a food processor.
- Strain the sauce through a very fine mesh sieve.
- Pour it into a clean pot and heat back to a simmer over medium heat. Take your time. Taste and add salt if needed. Grind some pepper in.
- Cook the venison. Take the medallions out and salt them well. Let them rest at room temperature for 15 minutes to a half-hour.
- Heat a pan over high heat for 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-high and add the olive oil. Let it heat for a minute or two, but not to smoking.
- Sear the vension over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the medallions. Turn and cook another 3-4 minutes — less if the medallions are thin.
- While the venison is cooking, add the cream to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, turn the heat to its lowest setting.
- Take the venison out and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Add chopped dill to the sauce.
- To serve, pour some sauce onto the plate and top with the venison. Grind a little pepper over all and garnish with the sprigs of dill. Serve immediately as this sauce is not as good cold.