By Cat, May 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
This last fall, I bought a share of a buffalo from friends who also hunt. When my share arrived, it included elk and deer steaks from their fall hunt, in addition to buffalo. I like venison but don’t have much experience with it, other than my Roast Reindeer recipe (for which I usually use either beef rib roast or leg of lamb, because reindeer – or its North American cousin, caribou – is hard to come by here).
So far I’ve found three recipes that interest me for venison steak; the first two were incorporated into my adaptation for Marinated Venison Steaks, with Sautéed Mushrooms or Green Peppercorn Sauce and my adaptation of the third is presented below.
This recipe reminds me of a beef steak I once had at Jake’s Grill in my Portland neighborhood; it was a combination of Steak au Poivre and Steak Diane.
Venison Steaks with Peppery Sour Cream & Brandy Sauce
I’ve adapted this recipe from from Food.com (originally on RecipeZaar (1). The original recipe serves 4; I’ve reduced it to serve 2.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 – 2 Tbsp lard or coconut oil
- ½ Tbsp butter
- 12 oz venison steak (or two 6-oz steaks, or four 3-oz steaks)
- Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Sour Cream & Brandy Sauce
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper (medium-coarse)
- 2 Tbsp brandy
- 2 Tbsp red wine
- ½ cup homemade beef stock
- 2 – 3 Tbsp sour cream
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste
- cast iron skillet
- Prep: If desired, marinate as in Marinated Venison Steaks, with Sautéed Mushrooms or Green Peppercorn Sauce.
- Sear: Melt butter and oil in pan. Add steaks and sear over high heat about 1-2 minutes per side, seasoning with salt and pepper after turning. Remove steaks and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Sauce: Reduce heat to medium. Add minced shallot and black pepper to pan; saute until wilted.
- Add brandy to pan, to deglaze, cooking a minute or two to thicken.
- Add red wine and beef stock. Return heat to medium-high and simmer sauce 3 – 4 minutes. Add a few spoons of sauce to sour cream in small bowl, stirring to combine, then add back to pan. Continue to simmer until thickened and flavorful.
- Adjust seasoning. Add steaks back to pan and cook 2 minutes to warm. Serve.
Assembly or Serving ideas
- With sauce: Spoon sauce onto plates; set steaks into sauce and serve with seared asparagus or green beans, or braised greens.
Testing, May 2009: I made a vinaigrette using apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, dried basil, salt and pepper (no garlic), then marinated two small (3 oz) venison steaks for about 4 hours. Forgot to add the garlic and to pierce steaks, darn. After removing from marinade, I followed this recipe, including the sauce. However, I used only half the ground pepper with the shallots. Result: Way too much pepper, even with only half of the recipe amount. I used fine-ground pepper; it would have been better with freshly ground pepper, medium-coarse. I couldn’t stop sneezing while cooking. The sauce was tasty, if too peppery, but there was too much of it for my 6 oz of steak (I forgot to cut the recipe in half). I like my steak rare, but it was more like medium. Recommendations: 1. Sear steaks only 1 minute per side, if you like it rare, as it continues to cook after removing from heat and wrapping in foil. 2. If you use fine-ground pepper (the kind that goes into a shaker), use 1/4 – 1/3 of the amount cited for the sauce, unless you like a REALLY peppery sauce. It takes a fair amount of hand grinding to make a tablespoon of freshly ground pepper, so if you have an electric seed grinder, use it.