Roasted Venison with Juniper Berries and Syrah

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We love the lean, wild taste of venison...however, if it's not readily available where you live, you may substitute a good quality beef tenderloin of a slightly larger portion.

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves:

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb venison tenderloin (around 1 1/2 inches in diameter) trimmed of silver skin, at room temperature for 30 minutes
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 cup Wawawai Canyon Syrah
1/3 cup veal or beef demi-glace
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon butter

Method

Position oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 425º F.

On a plate blend together the flour, salt and pepper. Pat venison dry and evenly coat it with the flour mixture. Heat oil until just smoking in a generously sized dutch oven. A heavy, ovenproof skillet will do as well. Brown venison on all sides, about 3 minutes total.

Cover the dutch oven with the venison, add a sprig of rosemary and return it to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into the center registers 115º F, 10-15 minutes. Transfer venison with tongs to a plate, cover it with foil and let it stand. Remove the sprig of rosemary from the juices in the pan.

While the meat stands, add the shallot to the dutch oven. Lightly salt the shallot and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the Syrah to the dutch oven and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up the tasty brown bits until liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the Demi-glace and boil, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the juniper berries, butter and a pinch more salt, if desired. Incorporate the meat juices from the venison, then remove the dutch oven from heat.

Diagonally slice the venison into 1/2 inch thick slices and spoon the sauce over the top.

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