Venison tenderloin with juniper berry, rosemary red wine sauce 鹿肉のワインソース添え

japanese cake

One of my friends went deer hunting and bagged a “Bambi” (or more likely a yearling. He said it did not have white spots) and gave me a small piece of tender loin. Since the meat was small  and irregular in shape rather a medallion, I made this quick small dish with a crushed Juniper berry and fresh rosemary wine sauce as an appetizer. I did not follow any particular recipe for this. (By-the-way the red liquid in the picture, is the sauce).

Venison: I just seasoned it with salt and pepper and cooked it in a frying pan with olive oil for few minutes and let it rest on a plate covered loosely in aluminum foil. Just before serving, I cut it into bite sized pieces. The center was slightly pink.

Sauce: Since we had a half open bottle of an unusual (for Spanish wine) red blend called Pago de Larrainzar Navarra Red blend 2005 (blend of Merlot, Cab, and Tempranillo), I decided to use this for my wine sauce. This wine (appears to have some problems with corks) did not taste great to our palate but we deemed it good enough for a wine sauce. I did not have any shallots, so I used a small onion instead, finely diced. I sautéed it in melted butter using the same pan in which the venison was cooked. After the onion got soft, I added crushed juniper berries (2) and finely chopped fresh rosemary (one small sprig). I added about 1/2 cup of the afore-mentioned red wine and reduced it to just coating the bottom of the pan. I finished the sauce with pats of butter. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and poured it over the meat thorough a fine meshed strainer.

The venison was very tender and not too gamy. The wine sauce went very well. Of course, for this dish, we needed to open a decent red. B cellars Blend 25 2006 from Napa was a bit usual from Napa since it is a blend of Cab (68%) and syrah (32%) like some Aussie wines. This one got 91 from WA. We liked this wine and it was a perfect match for the venison.

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