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Venison Steaks with Cranberry Cumberland Sauce

This is the perfect meal for two for a special occasion and has the added bonus of being super-fast. Cumberland sauce is traditionally made with redcurrant jelly but made, as it is here, with jellied cranberries, it has a new, deliciously different dimension.

 
 
 Venison Steaks with Cranberry Cumberland Sauce

  Serves 2

Ingredients
For the steaks:
 2 venison steaks (about 14 oz/400 g total weight)
 1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavourless oil
 2 level teaspoons crushed peppercorns
 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
 salt
For the sauce:
 2 rounded tablespoons cranberry sauce
 zest and juice ½ orange
 zest and juice ½ small lemon
 1 rounded teaspoon freshly grated root ginger (about 1 inch/2.5 cm cube, after peeling)
 1 level teaspoon mustard powder
 3 tablespoons port
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This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Winter Collection. It has also appeared in Sainsbury's Magazine (Nov 1993).

Method

If you want to, you can make the sauce way ahead of time (even several days). Take off the outer zest of half the orange and the lemon using a potato peeler, then with a sharp knife shred it into really fine strips, about ½ inch (1cm) long.

Then place the cranberry sauce, ginger and mustard in a saucepan, add the squeezed orange and lemon juice, and place over a medium heat. Now bring it up to simmering point, whisking well to combine everything together, then as soon as it begins to simmer turn the heat off, stir in the port and then pour it into a jug to keep till needed.

When you're ready to cook the steaks, heat the oil in a medium-sized, thick-based frying pan. Dry the steaks thoroughly with kitchen paper, then press the crushed peppercorns firmly over both sides of the steaks. When the oil is smoking hot, drop the steaks into the pan and let them cook for 5 minutes on each side for medium (4 minutes for rare and 6 minutes for well done).

Halfway through, add the shallots and move them around the pan to cook and brown at the edges. Then 30 seconds before the end of the cooking time pour the sauce in – not over, but around the steaks. Let it bubble for about 20 seconds, season with salt, and then serve the steaks with the sauce poured over. A garnish of watercress would be nice, and a good accompaniment would be mini jacket potatoes and a mixed leaf salad.

 

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