Speaking of a luscious, hearty, winter dish! From the very first time I tried this dish, I fell in love. The gamy taste of venison combined with dark chocolate and red wine sauce is truly wonderful! It makes the perfect main dish of your dinner parties. I have included two options of how you can incorporate the chocolate: either by making a chocolate ganache or by adding the chocolate to the sauce. Using both at the same time could be overwhelmingly chocolaty and that will overpower the other flavours; subtlety is key, all you chocolate lovers of world 😉 I prefer the meat to be cooked rare as that keeps the taste at its best; if you prefer the meat more done, increase the temperature to 180ºC and leave the meat longer in the oven until the desired doneness.
For 4 persons
- 4 x 150 gr venison loin
- 1 celeriac
- Black pepper
Chocolate ganache (option 1)
- 125 ml whipping cream
- 140 gr dark chocolate
- 40 gr butter
Red wine sauce
- 1/2 carrot
- 1 shallot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 star anise
- 2 juniper berries
- 175 ml port
- 350 ml red wine
- 250 ml beef stock
- 250 ml chicken stock
- Juice from half a lemon
- 40 gr dark chocolate (option 2)
- 4 small carrots
- 12 baby broccoli
Option 1: with chocolate ganache
- Make the ganache. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour half of it over the chocolate. Stir well until all the chocolate has melted. Add the rest of the cream and the butter. Keep stirring until you get a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool and set (not in the fridge).
- For the red wine sauce, peel and chop the shallot–, garlic and carrot. Heat a bit of oil and fry them until they start to brown. Add the port, red wine, star anise and juniper berries, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce again by half. Sieve the sauce, stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
- Peel the celeriac and cut into small cubes. Place in a pan and pour enough milk to just cover. Bring up to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender and cooked through. Pass the poached celeriac through a fine sieve – reserving the milk – and transfer to a blender. Blitz until smooth, loosening the consistency with a little of the milk if required, then season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 150 ºC. Season the venison loins with a bit of salt. Heat some oil in a pan and sear the loins over high heat. Transfer to an oven dish – don’t clean the pan –, cover with foil and place in the oven 5 to 10 minutes.
- Peel and cut the carrots in long pieces. Remove the bottom of the baby broccoli, about 5 mm. Steam them about 5 minutes and then reheat the pan with the meat juices, add the vegetables with a knob of butter and fry until just cooked. Season with a bit of salt.
- To plate, make sure all the elements are warm. Spoon two quenelles of celeriac puree and a small quenelle of ganache in between. Cut the loin in half lengthwise and place each piece on either side of the ganache. Add some of the vegetables and spoon a bit of the sauce.
Option 2: with chocolate red wine sauce, without ganache
- Skip the first step as mentioned above and proceed with the sauce from step 2. Once the sauce has been reduced and sieved, stir in 40 gr of dark chocolate and let it completely melt.
- Proceed with steps 3 to 6.