Yesterday I cooked the loin fillet venison steaks that I bought from the Farmers Market in Winton on Saturday. I’d never cooked venison before and as far as I can remember I have never eaten it before either. Being a little unsure of cooking it I ‘Googled’ venison. Most of the recipes that came up were based on stewing/casseroling the meat. They didn’t seem at all appropriate for this lovely looking steak. Eventually I decided to cook it on the griddle as I would beef steak.
I took the meat from the fridge 15 mins or so before cooking to bring it to room temperature. If you cook it straight from the fridge the outside tends to burn while the inside doesn’t cook.
I rubbed the meat with some olive oil to which I had added a little salt and pepper, some chopped rosemary leaves and 4 crushed juniper berries. I have only recently started to rub the meat with oil before cooking. It keeps the meat really moist. If you have never done this I recommend that you try it. You won’t believe the difference that it makes. Rosemary is an antioxidant and anticarcinogen and apparently can counter the effects of burnt meat so I regularly include a little when I marinade the meat these days. Not that I intended to burn the steak! And as for the juniper berries. Well I don’t usually use these but I had a jar in the cupboard, bought originally for some long forgotten recipe, and most of the recipes for stewing venison included them so I thought I’d give it a try.
I was a little anxious as I took the first bit, worried that I might not like it, but IT WAS SUPERB! The meat was succulent and tender. It didn’t have too strong a taste as I had feared. And the little bit of juniper definitely gave the dish a certain something. It won’t be long before we eat venison again (Well, it probably won’t be that soon – I need to find out a regular source. I think I’ve seen some on one of the stalls in Poole Street Market. I’ll check it out and let you know).
Primal Anne’s taste rating: 5/5