Seared Venison with Wild Mushroom Port Sauce
A recipe featured in the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild
Recipe by Jamie Carlson
When I first started cooking, I was very intimidated by certain recipes that called for ingredients I had never heard of or using techniques I was unfamiliar with. Sometimes I would just look at the recipe and determine that it was too complicated for me. This was one of those recipes. I kept looking at it and thinking I would never be able to make it. When I finally got around to trying it, I was shocked at how easy it actually was to prepare. It might take you a couple of tries but I guarantee you that once you make this you will want to make it over and over again.
Notes from the chef: Use whatever cut of venison you like best. I used eye of round for this that was cut into medallions about 1 ½ inches thick. For the mushrooms, I prefer to use hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, but I will also use a wild mushroom blend that I get at the grocery store.
8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 shallot finely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Ruby Port
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chilled butter
It goes like this, salt and pepper your steaks generously. Then melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium high heat. Sear the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side until you get a nice crust. Remove the steaks and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan and add minced garlic and shallots. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Dump in the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes. Pour in the broth, port, Worcestershire and balsamic vinegar and continue cooking until the liquid reduces by half. Whisk in 2 more tablespoons of chilled butter. Return the steaks to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. To serve Place the steaks on the plate and spoon the mushrooms and the sauce over the steaks.
When serving this dish, I would recommend having some good bread on hand to soak up the sauce. Otherwise you will end up licking the plate and nobody wants to see that.
Note from the kitchen: Bur oak savannas are prime locations for finding hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. Look for the large fungi around the bases of living trees. Since these mushrooms are generally not ready for harvest until late summer or autumn, you will have time to perfect your hand with this recipe and could test out other varieties of fresh mushrooms to suit your taste.
Never harvest a wild mushroom you are unsure about! Outdoor News recommends you practice foraging with an experienced expert in the identification of wild edibles.