Recipe: Roasted Nicola Valley Fallow Venison

Recipe - Roasted Nicola Valley Fallow Venison

Recipe: Roasted Nicola Valley Fallow Venison

by Chef Peter Robertson

Due to the lack of inner muscle fat on venison, it should be served rare for optimum tenderness. The chocolate adds a depth to the sauce that enhances the mild flavour of the meat. The balsamic vinegar is from Venturi-Schulze Vineyards on Vancouver Island. Serves 6


4 lbs Nicola Valley venison loin
1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf

Chocolate Jus
2 oz chocolate (55% cocoa), chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vegetable oil
Reserved venison trim
1 Walla Walla or other sweet onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 cup Shiraz or other full-bodied spicy red wine
11/4 cups veal demi-glace
1 sprig thyme
2 Tbsp Venturi-Schulze balsamic vinegar

Glazed Beets
18 North Arm Farm small beets (preferably a mix of Chioggia, golden, white, purple) with their greens or spinach or red chard
1/4 cup vinegar or fresh lemon juice
21/2 cups water
1 Tbsp + 4 tsp butter
1 tsp fireweed honey
2 Tbsp Venturi-Schulze balsamic vinegar


Clean venison, removing all the sinews, and reserve the trimmings for the chocolate jus. Refrigerate venison and trimmings until needed.

Chocolate Jus
This sauce can be made ahead of time and gently reheated. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a pot of simmering water (a bain-marie), then mix in softened butter. Remove from the bain-marie, allow to cool and refrigerate chocolate butter until needed.

Heat oil in a medium frying pan on medium-high heat. Add venison trimmings and sear for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden. Add onion and garlic, then cook for 5 minutes. Add wine and deglaze the pan, then turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by two-thirds. Stir in demi-glace and thyme, then simmer for 5 minutes. Skim, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids. Return to the heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until reduced and thick enough to coat a spoon.

Cut 3 Tbsp of the chocolate butter into small cubes (you will have some left over) and whisk into the reduced liquid in the frying pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in vinegar. Refrigerate if not using right away. (Use the chocolate butter in any wine-based sauce for meat to vary the flavour. Will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, in the freezer for 3 months.)

Glazed Beets
Wash and trim beets, leaving on 1/2 inch of the stem. Reserve the beet greens.

Combine vinegar and water in a large pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Add beets and cook until tender (if using different coloured beets, cook them separately to preserve their individual colours). Drain and allow to cool.

Peel beets. Set aside two of the purple beets to purée. Cut the remainder of the beets into quarters.

Purée the two purple beets and 2 tsp of the butter in a blender, adding a little water, if needed, to achieve a spreadable consistency. Season to taste and reserve in a warm place.

To Finish
Venison Remove venison from the refrigerator half an hour before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper. Use paper towels to remove excess moisture from venison, then coat with cocoa, shaking off the excess.

Preheat the oven to 350˚f. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan on medium for a few minutes before adding oil. Sear venison on all sides until evenly browned, then roast in the oven for 12 to 18 minutes, until rare (135˚f on a meat thermometer). Remove from the oven and add butter, thyme and bay leaf, then spoon over venison many times. Allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Carve into thin slices.

To Finish Beets
While the venison is resting, finish the beets. Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in a frying pan on medium heat until it starts to foam. Add quartered beets and sauté for 2 minutes. Pour off excess butter, stir in honey, evenly coat beets and return the pan to the heat. Add 1 Tbsp of water and balsamic vinegar, then deglaze the pan. Season to taste and keep warm.

In another frying pan on high heat, melt the remaining 2 tsp of the butter. Add beet greens and sauté for 5 minutes, or until soft. Season to taste and keep warm.

To Serve
Heat chocolate jus. Draw a pattern on each warmed plate with the warm beet purée, then arrange carved venison, quartered beets and beet greens on each plate. Finish with a drizzle of chocolate jus.

Township 7 Vineyards & Winery Syrah

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