Venison Steak Marsala
A recipe shared by Justin Townsend of Harvesting Nature
I think chicken marsala was one of the first dishes I ever made for my mom when I was a kid. I remember taking her the meal while she was working at the local hospital. I am not sure why I never thought to make this as a wild game dish before. The meal is slightly sweet, savory, and comforting.
This meal is also a one pan meal, minus the pasta or starch. I use a stainless-steel pan or pot for the recipe because it gives the steaks a great crispy brown crust. You can use a non-stick pan but you will not get the steaks as brown. Don’t worry about the flour sticking to the pan/pot because you are going to deglaze the pan with the stock and wine while making the sauce. This method captures all those delicious brown bits you get from browning the meat. Enjoy this meal over pasta, creamy polenta, cheese grits, or mashed potatoes for a great dinner any day of the week.
- 2 lbs. venison steaks
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 8 oz. mushrooms (baby bella, porcini, shitake), sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ yellow onion, minced
- ¾ cup game stock (or substitute unsalted chicken stock)
- ¾ cup Marsala wine (see Hints From the Kitchen)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley for garnish
- Prepared pasta, polenta, or mashed potatoes
- Place the steaks in a Ziplock bag and use a meat mallet to pound each steak to approximately ¼ of an inch thick.
- Combine the oregano, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and thyme in a small bowl. Evenly season each side of the steaks.
- Bring a large stainless-steel frying pan to heat over medium heat and then add the oil. Allow the oil to come to heat.
- Dredge each of the steaks in flour and the place in the pan.
- Brown each side of the steak for approximately 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the steaks and set aside.
- Now for the sauce. Using the same pan, reduce the heat to medium low. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Then stir in the flour. Allow the flour to simmer, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Bring the heat back up to medium. Stir in the mushrooms, onions, garlic. Allow to cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the game stock, Marsala wine, and the thyme. Allow the mixture to simmer for 4 minutes which will thicken the sauce.
- Taste the sauce and adjust with salt if needed.
- Plate the steaks over the starch of your choice, and then top with the sauce. Add the minced parsley for garnish. Enjoy!
About the Chef: Justin Townsend has been a hunter and angler since he was a child. As a classically trained chef, he infuses his passions for the outdoors and cooking to create delicious wild game meals. After joining the Coast Guard in 2015, he moved in Key West, FL, where the island serves as a lily pad for his many adventures on land and sea. He is the author of the cookbook, Eat Wild Game, and also hosts Harvesting Nature’s Wild Fish and Game Podcast which focuses on the technical side of cooking wild fish and game while also incorporating adventures and lessons learned from his pursuit of wild meat. You can purchase his cookbook, listen to the podcast, and get more information at HarvestingNature.com.
From the Kitchen: Hints on selecting Marsala wine. This is a wine from Sicily that is excellent for cooking, as it creates a nutty, caramelized sauce because it is fortified with brandy and prepared in a certain method. You’ll want to look for a drier Marasala for cooking. The gold (or “oro” on the label) is the driest and the more ruby-colored (you’ll see “rubino” on the label) is the sweeter end of Marsala. Stored properly, a bottle of Marsala will last about a month once opened.