In Germany, tree stands are privately owned, and hunting takes place every fall. Venison is highly prized, but if you aren't a farmer or rancher, you will encounter game meat in restaurants, for the most part.
If you have access to venison or elk steak, try cooking the meat in red wine, with bacon to keep the meat from drying out. Venison steak prepared this way is flavorful and can be inexpensive, if you are harvesting and butchering your own.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- 3 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp. mustard seed, slightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 lb. venison or elk steaks, 1/2 inch thick
- 1 tsp. juniper berries, crushed
- 2 tsp. black peppercorns, crushed
- 4 - 6 slices of bacon
- 1 c. dry, red wine
- 1 T. corn starch mixed with 2 T. red wine
- 4 oz. creme fraiche
Clean and slice the vegetables into 1/4 inch pieces. Lay them in the bottom of an oiled roaster or 9 x 13 inch pan, add the mustard seed, bay leaves, salt and about 1/2 cup water and bake at 385°F for 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting/steaming, wash and pat dry your steaks. (You may also use a filet piece and carve it for serving.)
Mix together the juniper berries and peppercorns and rub the steaks with this mixture. Lay out the steaks and place bacon to cover (cover 50-90% of steak).
When the vegetables have softened slightly, remove from oven, place steaks on top (bacon side up), and place pan back in oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, pour the red wine over steaks and bake another 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven. Test steaks for desired doneness (they will be medium-well to well done). Remove steaks to a platter, remove bacon and keep warm.
Pour off red wine into small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to half. Add the corn starch slurry while stirring and stir until thick. Add the crème frâiche and stir until blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Serve steaks with potatoes and sauce and apple quarters browned in butter and cooked in white wine.
Notes: You may make a roux with flour and butter and add the red wine, instead of using cornstarch to thicken. You may also use pureed vegetables to thicken (they are usually discarded) for a healthy and tasty alternative.
If you have access to (expensive) beef or game fond (found at some German groceries) you can also add a couple of tablespoons at the end for flavor, but lighten up on the salt as necessary.