Venison with pears and red wine
We've got friends staying, and we're having this for dinner tonight!
Venison with baked pears and red wine sauce
(Following quantities are enough for up to 6 people)
1 small cinnamon stick, broken
5 black peppercorns
Half a bottle full-bodied red wine
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 trimmed venison steaks
Freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
1 shallot, finely diced
1 heaped tablespoon redcurrant jelly
55g butter, plus extra for greasing
Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Butter an ovenproof dish. Peel, core and halve the pears. Arrange snugly in the dish, hollow side up. Tuck in the cinnamon and peppercorns, pour in half the wine. Sprinkle with sugar and dot with butter. Crumple up and wet a sheet of greaseproof paper, then lay it over the dish before covering with foil. Seal tightly and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the pears are tender. Turn the pears after the first hour. Keep warm. You will need ths liquid for the sauce.
Pour the oil into a non-stick frying pan and set over a high heat. Season the steaks and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove the steaks and keep warm. Reduce the heat and gently fry the shallot before adding all the wine, including that with the pears. Boil vigorously, scraping the pan as you do so, until it has reduced by half. Stir in the jelly and, once it has melted, remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the 55g butter. Strain into a warm sauceboat and serve immediately with venison and warm pears.