Saddle of Venison with Pepper Sauce

A spectacular dish for that special dinner party, Saddle of Venison with Pepper

Sauce tastes as good as it looks – and it looks marvellous! Serve with roast potatoes, buttered carrots and a tossed green salad. A full-bodied Rhone wine, such as Chdteau-neuf-du-Pape would go well with this dish.

1 X 5 lb. saddle of venison

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

10 fl. oz. home-made beef stock

3 fl. oz. brandy

16 fl. oz. red wine

2 fl. oz. brandy

2 fl. oz. olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, scraped and sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 teaspoon salt

12 black peppercorns

1 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns

1 bay leaf, crumbled

2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions

½ teaspoon dried rosemary

4 fl. oz. red wine

2 fl. oz. home-made beef stock

½ teaspoon salt it teaspoon black pepper

8 fl. oz. double cream

1 oz. beurre manie

First make the marinade. In a large, shal-low dish, combine all the marinade ingredients and stir well to blend. Add the venison to the dish and set aside at room temperature to marinate for 12 hours or overnight, basting occasionally. Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230 °C).

Remove the venison from the marinade and pat it dry with kitchen paper towels. Pour the marinade through a fine wire strainer into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Discard the contents of the strainer.

Using your fingertips, rub the meat all over with the salt and pepper. Place the venison in a large, deep roasting tin.

Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the reserved strained marinade and the beef stock to the boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid over the venison.

Place the roasting tin in the oven and roast the venison for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to moderate 350 CF (Gas

Mark 4, 180°C) and cook the venison, basting every 15 minutes, for a further 1 ½ to If hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place the peppercorns, bay leaf, spring onions , rosemary, red wine and stock in a medium-sized saucepan. Set the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the mixture through a fine strainer into another medium-sized saucepan. Discard the contents of the strainer. Set the saucepan aside.

When the venison is cooked, remove the roasting tin from the oven and, using two large spoons or forks, transfer the venison to a large carving board. Keep the meat warm while you finish off the sauce.

Place the roasting tin over high heat and bring the cooking juices to the boil. In a small saucepan, heat the brandy over low heat until it is hot. Pour the brandy into the roasting tin and ignite, shaking the tin gently until the flames die away. Remove the roasting tin from the heat and strain 4 fluid ounces of the juices into the saucepan containing the sauce mixture. Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the salt, pepper and cream. Stir in the beurre manie, a little at a time. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until it is thick and hot but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat. Serve immediately, with the venison.

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