I personally think that there's something rather fantastic about a piece of venison, cooked till pink, served with a well reduced red wine sauce and earthy mushrooms
If you've never tasted venison, try it, it's totally delicious and not as strong and gamely as you'd imagine, if you don't want to use venison, a good piece of beef fillet will be fine
This recipe will serve 4 people
600ml red wine, a good full bodied red, if you wouldn't drink it! Don't cook with it!! 80ml Madeira or dry sherry
80ml balsamic vinegar
6 shallots thinly sliced
1 fresh bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
500ml good-quality beef stock
40g dried chanterelle or porcini mushrooms
1kg venison fillet, trimmed of the sinew, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 splash of olive oil
1 tablespoon plain flour
Firstly make the sauce, combine the red wine, Madeira, balsamic vinegar, shallots, bay leaf and thyme in a bowl and set aside for 30 minutes
Place in a saucepan with jus or stock and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by three-quarters (this will take about 20 minutes). Set aside. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, pour over a little boiling water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
Season the venison pieces well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and sear the venison on all sides.
Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 10-12 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
Drain mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Heat the butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
Add flour to the pan and cook, stirring, for a further minute. Add red-wine sauce and reserved mushroom liquid, and simmer for 5-6 minutes until well-reduced. Season to taste.
7 Slice the venison, arrange onto 4 warm plates, spoon the sauce over and serve, accompany with some buttered greens, and potatoes of your choice