Medallions of Venison with Caramelized Green Apples
When venison loins are cut from the saddle, the bones can be used to make a rich brown stock and sauce, and the marrow can be poached and sliced as a garnish. Sweet-tart green apples complement the rich-tasting but low-fat venison.
- Saddle of Venison - 1
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Celery Sprigs - 4
- Thyme Sprigs - 3, fresh
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Carrot - 1, cut in 1/4-inch dice
- Celery - 1 stalk, cut in 1/4-inch dice
- White Onion - 1/2, cut in 1/4-inch dice
- Tomato paste - 1 tablespoon
- Water - 1-1/2 quarts
- Shallots - 1/4 cup, chopped
- Dry Red Wine - 2 cups
- Port - 1/2 cup
- Caramelized Green Apples
- Granny Smith Apples - 5
- Clarified Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup
- Confectioner’s Sugar - 2 tablespoons, sifted
- Reserved marrow - (above)
- Fresh Chives - 1 tablespoon, snipped
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Asparagus Tips - 36, blanched
- Baby Carrots - 18, green portion trimmed short, blanched
Have the butcher remove the loins from the saddle and split the large bones, reserving all bones and scraps. Remove the marrow from the backbone and reserve it. Remove all the fat and silverskin from the loins with your fingers and a very sharp knife. Cut the loins into eighteen 3/4-inch-thick medallions, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Place the celery sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves on a square of cheesecloth and tie into a bouquet garni with white cotton string. In a 6-quart Dutch oven over high heat, heat the oil and brown the bones. Drain any excess oil from the pan and add the carrot, diced celery, onion, tomato paste, and bouquet garni. Add the water, lower the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
Place the shallots, wine, and port in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and cook to reduce to 1 tablespoon. Strain the stock from the bones into a medium saucepan, add the wine reduction, and cook over medium heat to reduce for 40 minutes, or until it has reached a syrupy consistency. Strain the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Set aside and keep warm.
To make the caramelized apples: Cut each apple into 8 to 10 wedges (6 wedges per person). Peel, core, and evenly trim the slices. Place the butter and apples in a large heavy saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the apples with confectioner’s sugar and cook for 1 minute, then turn and cook on the second side for about 40 seconds, or until the apples are nicely browned and tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside with the apples inside it; they will continue to cook slightly.
To prepare the marrow: Slice the reserved marrow into thirty-six 1/3-inch-thick slices. Poach the marrow pieces for 1 minute n a medium saucepan of lightly salted water. Drain; keep warm.
To cook the venison medallions: In a large saute pan or skillet over high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the medallions, turning once, for a total of 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the medallions, drain them on paper towels, and keep warm until all the venison is cooked.
To serve: Melt one tablespoon of butter in each of two small saute pans and reheat the asparagus tips in one, the carrots in the other. On each serving plate, arrange 3 pairs of apple wedges back-to-back to resemble a butterfly shape, with the center of the “butterfly” facing the middle of the plates. Place two asparagus tips between the apples and center one baby carrot, green tip out, between the asparagus tips. Place a venison medallion between each pair of apple garnishes, three medallions per plate. Coat lightly with the sauce and pool a little sauce in the center of the plate. Place a slice of marrow on each medallion. Sprinkle a few snipped chives on each piece of marrow.