Sautéed Venison Medallions with Saute of Apples, Celery Root, Shiitakes, and Onion, and Red Zinfandel Sauce ►
Pretty to look at with sweet potato clusters crowning the vegetable sauté and venison medallions, this dish is also rich with silky Red Zinfandel sauce. The venison is relatively low in fat, and a skim of butter keeps it from sticking when seared. These same flavors would also pair well with pork medallions.
- Red Zinfandel Sauce (recipe below)
- Crispy Shoestring Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes - 4, peeled
- Canola oil for deep-frying
- Fruit and Vegetable Sauté
- Bacon Fat - 2 tablespoons
- Granny Smith Apple - 1, cored and julienned
- Celery Root - 1, peeled and julienned
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 8, julienned
- Vidalia Onion - 1, julienned
- Currants - 1/4 cup, marinated in red Zinfandel for 8 hours
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Venison Tenderloin Medallions - Twelve 2-ounce
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Unsalted Clarified Butter - 2 tablespoons (see Cooking Basics)
- Celery Heart Sprigs - 4
- Red Zinfandel Sauce
- Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Shallots - 2, minced
- Garlic Cloves - 4, crushed
- Mushrooms - 1 cup, chopped
- Rosemary Leaves - 3 tablespoons chopped
- Parsley - 1 sprig, stemmed and minced
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Red Zinfandel - 1 cup
- Veal Stock (see Basics) - 2 quarts
Prepare the Zinfandel Sauce and keep warm in an insulated bottle until ready to serve.
To prepare the sweet potatoes: Cut the potatoes into very fine shoestrings on a spiral slicer or mandolin. Heat the oil to 360 F in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan. Slip one fourth of the potato shoestrings into the fryer and fry until the potatoes float to the surface and are browned, stirring and turning them with a slotted spoon or skimmer. When crisp, remove with the slotted spoon or skimmer and drain on paper towels; while still pliable, form into a cluster. Repeat until all the potato has been fried and you have four clusters of shoestring potatoes. Keep warm.
To prepare the fruit and vegetable sauté: Melt the bacon fat in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the apple, celery root, mushrooms, and onions and toss to coat. Cook 30 seconds, toss or stir again to turn, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook 2 minutes, or until the celery root and onions are tender-crisp. Stir the currants into the other vegetables, adding enough of the Zinfandel marinade to moisten the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
To prepare the venison: Season the venison with salt and pepper. Heat half of the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add half of the venison medallions. Sear for 35 seconds, until beginning to brown. Turn with tongs and sear on the other side for 40 seconds, or until desired degree of doneness is reached. Remove and drain on a towel. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining medallions.
To serve: Mound the fruit and vegetable sauée in the center of warmed serving plates. Lean 3 venison medallions against the mound on each plate. Top with a cluster of crispy sweet potatoes. Ladle sauce around the venison and fruits and vegetables. Stand a celery sprig in the top of each potato cluster.
Red Zinfandel Sauce
Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rosemary, parsley, and bay leaf and cook 2 more minutes. Pour in the wine and stir up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until reduced by half in volume. Stir in the veal stock and continue cooking until reduced by half in volume again. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve.