Medallions of Venison with Currant Sauce
  • 2 1⁄2 cups unsalted veal, beef or poultry stock
  • 2⁄3 cup dry red wine (preferably a not too tannic syrah, zinfandel or
  • Rhône red)
  • 1 pound boneless venison strip loin, cut crosswise into 3⁄4-inch medallions
  • 1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heaping tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons red currant jelly
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
Time Estimates

Prep time: 15 min  

Cook time: 25 min  

Total time: 40 min  


  1. Combine the stock and wine in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a lively simmer and reduce the volume of the liquid by two thirds. (An easy way to do this is to measure the depth before you start with a wooden spoon or spatula, and use this as a “dipstick” to check the volume as it reduces.)
  2. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Put 4 dinner plates in a very low oven to warm.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add a film of oil. Season the medallions with a little salt and pepper and blot away any juices. Add to the pan and cook until nicely browned on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until the meat is rare to medium rare (see Note), another 2 to 3 minutes. Divide among the dinner plates.
  4. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until they begin to soften. Add the reduced stock and wine and the currant jelly, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Meanwhile, put a mound of potatoes or risotto in the middle of each plate next to the medallions.
  5. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Add the butter and stir or swirl the pan until the butter melts.
  6. Spoon the sauce over and around the medallions and garnish with peas or green beans.




As rich as it tastes, venison is lean meat, so don’t overcook it (and anything past medium rare, possibly medium, is overcooked to my taste). If you are comfortable with a fingertip test to tell how beef is cooked — feeling the difference between the flabbiness of raw meat and the increasing degrees of springiness as it cooks through rare and medium-rare to medium — you can apply the same test to venison medallions. If not, you might want to practice on beef a few times before shelling out for venison.

Good to know

A lot of traditional game recipes use fruit sauces to balance (some would say mask) strong gamy flavor in the meat. Today, almost all venison commercially available in this country comes not from hunters but from deer raised on farms (a lot of it in New Zealand). Although the flavor is milder than that of wild venison, it’s still a very flavorful, deep-colored meat that goes well with a touch of fruit in the sauce.

Roe deer (the favorite species of farmers) falls somewhere between lamb and pork in size, so the strip loin, the cut that yields a [skipwords]New York[/skipwords] steak in beef and the larger half of center-cut pork chops, measures about 1 1⁄2 by 3 inches in cross section. Two little steaks or “medallions” cut from the strip loin make a restaurant-style portion of 4 to 5 ounces, which, given the rich flavor of the meat and the sauce (not to mention the steep price), is plenty.

Serve with Garlic Mashed Potatoes, plain mashed potatoes, or Wild Mushroom Risotto, and boiled or steamed sugar snap peas or cut green beans.

Which beer should I drink with this?

This is good with pale ale or porter, but it’s even better with a Belgian-style “abbey” ale, the red Burgundy of the beer world.

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.


Photo: maggiephotos/Flickr