27 January 2009

Seared Venison Roast with a Blueberry Reduction, and Celery Root Mash

My Hubs is a hunter at heart, he doesn't get away to do it much anymore but when he does, we eat well for awhile. This winter he went deer hunting, and came back home with lots of venison for us to use: ground, cubed, and loins. The loin is the good stuff, and we're in for a treat when one of the loins is being thawed for dinner - that usually means we're making Venison with Blueberry Reduction.

Originally this came from an episode of Emeril on the Food Network, many many, like 3 apartments before we bought our home (and we lived in every apartment a good 2-3 years) - yeah, like that many years ago. I couldn't find the original on their site, only our chicken-scratch re-write we've been using for years, so that's what you're getting. Not quite sure how much we changed things up, but I will say this: it is very, very good.

I nuked my meat a bit longer (darn baby Robot ruins all my fun food adventures), but this is best when the meat is seared - venison is very delicate, it works best with the meat's texture and flavor to keep it rare in the center. The blueberry reduction is incredible, just barely sweet with plenty of tart and woodsy savory and oh my goodness - I could just cover everything and anything I eat in the stuff, if only it wasn't a bit too hands-on to make on a daily basis.

We usually have this with mashed potatoes, but this time we switched things up and did a celery root mash. Ooooh, so good. And healthier, for those watching their carbs! The celery root actually paired with the venison and blueberry reduction much better than potatoes did. So if you give this recipe a shot, go with the celery root mash for sure.

Seared Venison Roast with a Blueberry Reduction
(adapted from Emeril Legasse)

1 venison loin , about 8 oz. (or, use 8-oz. venison chops)
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. finely diced shallots
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 c. crushed blueberries
5-6 juniper berries
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. chopped rosemary
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. dry red wine
1/4 c. gin
1 c. beef demi-glace
1 Tbsp. chopped sage
1 Tbsp. cold butter

Lightly season the venison loin on all sides with salt and black pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, add the loin and sear for 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and turn the loin. For medium-rare, cook the loin for 2 to 3 minutes on each turn/side, until you've gone all the way around the loin. Transfer the loin to a plate and let rest, covered loosely with foil.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the blueberries, juniper berries, sugar, and rosemary and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and red wine and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Add the gin, being careful of flames, and stir to deglaze the pan. (Alternately, remove the pan from the heat and ignite with a match.) When the flames die out, add the demi-glace and sage, and stir well.

Return the loin to the pan and cook to warm the meat through, about 1 minute. Add the cold butter, salt and cracked black pepper, to taste, and swirl to incorporate. Remove from the heat.

Celery Root Mash
(adapted from Chow)

1 large Celeriac (celery root)
1 large Russet baking potato
2-3 Tablespoons Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Teaspoon Salt (+ more to taste)
Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Peel the celeriac root and wash any extra traces of dirt off. Wash the potatoes well. *Please note: we left the peels on for extra texture, but you can peel your potatoes if you like.

Cut the celeriac and potatoes into medium sized pieces. Put into a large cooking pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce head to a simmer. Cook until soft enough to mash, about 30–40 minutes. Drain and let sit covered in the same pot that you used to cook them in, for about 5 minutes to remove excess water.

Add cream, salt and then mash. I like to use a hand held masher as I dig texture in my mashed potatoes. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. I love this side in its "pure state", but feel free to go nuts - lots of herbs would complement this well.
To plate, place 1/2 of the celery root mash on each of 2 large plates, and place 3-4 slices of loin on top of the mash. Pour the sauce over the chops and around the plates. Serve immediately.


Catherine Wilkinson said...

very very very very very nice!
I LOVE venison and elk.

Sarah said...

Wow. This looks heavenly. I think I'm going to have to go buy some venison from the butcher and try this out.

Expendo said...

Works great with a port tenderloin, too. Sear the pork as directed then bake in a glass dish @ 400oF for ~30 minutes or until cooked through...

Jason Smith said...

Wow! Its an amazing recipe found here... Keep posting such an interesting recipes. Thanks very much for the share....

Jason Smith, NY