Leg of Venison with Cider-Baked Apples, Red Chard, and Cranberry Sauce
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons juniper berries
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 (3-pound) boneless venison leg roast or turkey breast, trimmed and tied
- Cranberry sauce:
- 1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
- 4 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 4 teaspoons whole cloves
- 4 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 4 teaspoons juniper berries
- 6 cups fresh cranberries (about 12 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cups red wine, such as pinot noir
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup undiluted orange juice concentrate
- Cider-baked apples:
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 star anise pods (optional)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 4 Braeburn, Jonathan, Gala, or Red Delicious apples, cored and halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 bunches firm red or white chard, stemmed
- 1/4 cup apple cider (or cider residue from baked apples)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
To prepare venison: In a spice grinder or food processor, grind the peppercorns, juniper berries, fennel seeds, and thyme together. Mix with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil and rub on the venison. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for 4 to 12 hours. Remove the venison from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking to come to room temperature.
To make the cranberry sauce: In a food processor or spice grinder, coarsely grind the cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, peppercorns, and juniper berries together. Place in a cheesecloth square and tie closed with a string.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, wine, vinegar, sugar, and orange juice concentrate. Add the spice bundle and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cranberries are very soft. Remove the spice bundle, pour the sauce into a bowl, and let cool. Use now, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
While the cranberry sauce cools, make the baked apples: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, cook the cider, vinegar, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and butter for 5 minutes. Place the apples, cut-side down, in a baking pan. Pour the cider mixture over the apples. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until semisoft; set aside and keep warm, or reheat just before serving.
To make the venison: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil and brown the venison on all sides. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for about 50 minutes for medium-rare. For medium-done, roast 6 to 7 minutes longer. Remove the venison from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
To make the chard: In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chard and apple cider and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, transfer the venison to a platter and arrange the apples beside it. Divide the chard and cranberry sauce between bowls. Serve.
Recipe courtesy Cory Schreiber, Wildwood, Ten Speed Press, 2000
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse