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Venison with braised red cabbage, cherry and juniper sauce - Thu, 2nd Apr 2009
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My version of a fairly standard way to prepare venison. I prefer the meat to be very rare, but regardless of how you prefer it cooked, be sure to rest it for at least a few minutes, as it will improve the tenderness considerably. Serves 6, with sides - I suggest some kipfler potatoes roasted with parmesan and thyme.

Needs:
1.5 kg venison fillet (typically about 3 fillets) 2 shallots, finely sliced
4 sprigs thyme,leaves only 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised under the flat of the knife.
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only 400ml red wine: something with bright berry flavours is best
1 jar of morello cherries Juice of half an orange
1 tin black cherries half carrot, peeled and finely diced
200ml beef stock half a red cabbage
1 small red onion, finely sliced 1 extra clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed.
1 tbsp butter  
10 juniper berries, crushed salt, pepper and sugar

Combine the wine, thyme, rosemary, garlic, shallors, juniper berries and a liberal seasoning of salt and pepper in a dish large enough for the venison, then add the venison, coat well and leave to marinate for at least 24 hrs (preferably longer). Remove the venison and reserve the marinade. Bring the marinade to a gentle simmer, then add the syrup from the morello and tinned cherries, the beef stock and a small handful of cherries. Simmer and reduce by 3/4. Combine the cabbage, extra garlic and onion in a large pan, season generously with salt, pepper and a sugar and saute gently until serving. (Purists would say that the cabbage should be soaked in brine to avoid any bitterness. I say add a teaspoon of sugar to the pan and save yourself 4 hours of soaking, but it's up to you). Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the venison on all sides. Transfer to an oven tray and cook for 10-12 minutes at 200C (180 fan forced) for medium-rare. (I prefer rarer than this, but most don't, so this is a good starting point from which you can refine to your tastes).

Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Then add the remaining cherries and bring back to a gentle simmer. Once a suitable consistency is achieved, add butter and remove from heat, stirring until butter has dissolved. Remove the venison from the oven and let it rest for 4-5 minutes in a warm place. Slice into thick (1.5cm) slices and plate on top of a heap of the braised cabbage. Pour over some sauce and serve.

 


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