SERVES 4
Serve with Terre de Mistral Côtes du Rhône 2011
This is based on a delicious styrian dish. the original is braised, but this is quicker and really convenient since you can make the sauce in advance and cook the steaks at the last minute.

Ingredients

  • 30g dried wild mushrooms
  • 40g dried cranberries
  • 800ml game or well-flavoured chicken stock
  • 125g fresh wild mushrooms, or well-flavoured cultivated mushrooms
  • 300g cooked chestnuts
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 50ml port
  • 6 venison steaks, 2-2½cm thick
  • 50g fresh cranberries
  • 150g sour cream

Method

Pour enough boiling water just to cover the dried wild mushrooms and dried cranberries and leave them to soak for about 45 minutes. drain these, cutting the dried, reconstituted mushrooms, and add the juices to the game or chicken stock. Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan and continue to bubble until the liquid is reduced to 300ml.

Slice the fresh mushrooms, leaving the pieces quite large and some of their lovely shape intact. Setting aside 18 neat halves, quarter the rest of the chestnuts (about 125g). Melt 50g butter and add the fresh mushrooms. Sauté briskly for about 4 minutes, then add the chestnuts and cook for another 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the port and let the alcohol bubble away. Add the soaked, dried mushrooms and cranberries and stock. Bring to the boil and bubble for a few minutes until the mixture is slightly syrupy. Season and, if you are making it in advance, cool and refrigerate until needed.

Just before you want to serve the main course, season the steaks and melt 40g of butter. sear on each side over a high heat, then turn the heat down and cook until they are rare – this should take around 3 minutes on each side.

To serve, heat the remaining butter in another frying pan and sauté the reserved chestnut halves until warm and glossy, then add the fresh cranberries and heat those through, without allowing them to become mushy.

Cut each steak into four slices, just to reveal the lovely pinkness inside, spoon the sauce onto the plate alongside it, and top with a good dollop of sour cream and the sautéed chestnuts and cranberries.

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