Venison Loin with Sweet Potato, Pearl Onions, and Smoked Bacon
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 ounces sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 large sweet potatoes, small diced
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 20 pearl onions, cleaned
- 1 -ounce sugar
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 8 ounces smoked bacon, diced small
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 (8 ounce) portions of venison loin
- 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a small heavy saucepan, adding the pod also. Add the sugar, water, ginger, and zest and bring to a boil to make a syrup. Place diced sweet potatoes in a medium skillet, pour syrup over top, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Alternatively, place diced sweet potato in a casserole dish, drizzle syrup over, and cook in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes, or until just tender. Set aside and keep warm.
Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sugar and cook very gently until onions are golden brown. Add chicken stock, a little at a time, to deglaze pan, and continue cooking until most of the liquid is evaporated and the onions are tender. Set aside and keep warm.
In another nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until edges start to become golden brown. Set aside and keep warm.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add venison and sear meat on all sides until golden brown. Add 1 tablespoon butter and continue to cook until meat is medium-rare. Remove meat from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut each piece into 3 slices.
To the skillet, add the bacon, sweet potato, and pearl onions, and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. Scatter parsley over top. Plate by placing a small pile of potato mixture just off-center on each of 4 plates. Fan venison slices across plate and drizzle any leftover pan juices on top of the meat.
Professional Recipe: This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and makes a large quantity. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.
Recipe courtesy Craig Hopson, Ritz Carlton, Philadelphia, PA