Roasted Rack of Venison in Cider Sauce… and the Failed Deer Hunt

As I reported in a previous post, I went deer hunting earlier this month. While somebody who actually knows what he’s doing was driving the hunt, I was hiding in tree stands or blinds like this one, observing my little patch of forest.


Believe me, after 4 hours spent sitting in a tent without moving, in the Catskills Mountains in winter, no matter how well dressed you are, you get pretty cold! My toes were in a state comparable to what I felt last year when I went swimming in Brighton Beach in mid-December.

Sadly, despite all the efforts of Huntsman Hank. I spotted only a couple of deer in two days and didn’t have a good enough shot to kill any of them. The regular deer season in the Southern zone lasted from November 20th to December 12th , so it’s too late for me to give it another try this year. Hank recommended I come back next year for the opening weekend, which I’ll probably do. Meanwhile, one more year of imported New Zealand venison…

I decided to take my revenge by ordering a rack of venison, which I prepared with a cider sauce and paired with some pan-seared foie gras and blood sausage on a potato pancake. I often make my own blood sausage, but this one I found at a Christmas Bazaar organized by the New York Estonian House. If you want to learn more about blood-sausage making, check out this article from the New York times, or try the class at the Estonian House in early December next year.

Cider sauce
Yields 4 servings

2 oz shallots, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 oz pancetta, small dice
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 thyme sprigs
2 cups veal (or game) stock
6 oz hard cider
1/2 oz butter

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the shallots and garlic with olive oil until soft. Add the pancetta and the mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are soft.
  • Add the thyme and stock, and reduce to about 1/4.
  • Add the hard cider, and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
  • Stir in the butter just before serving.

Rack of venison
Yields 4 servings

1 rack of venison consisting of 8 chops, cut in half
salt
black pepper, ground
canola oil
2 thyme sprigs, stems removed

  • Season the rack with salt and pepper on all sides. Sauté with canola oil in a very hot pan until brown on all sides.
  • Transfer to an oven-proof dish, sprinkle with thyme, and cook in a 300 F oven to the desired doneness. Count about 35 minutes for rare.
  • Let rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes. Cut the racks into 8 separate chops, and serve with the sauce.


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3 thoughts on “Roasted Rack of Venison in Cider Sauce… and the Failed Deer Hunt

  1. My father was Czech, grew up in Iowa and love the jelita and jaternice.
    One day will make my own as it is not found here in the NW.

    I like your blog and look forward to making your rack of venison.
    I have a three pound buffalo ribeye in the freezer that will have to
    do.

    Regards,

    Jan

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