Recipe courtesy of Shadow Henahan

Pepper-Seared Venison with Cranberry Port Wine Sauce, Creamy Polenta and Chanterelles

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  • Level: Easy
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1/4 cup dry cranberries

1 cup ruby port

1 1/2 pounds center cut venison loin, trimmed

3/4 cup crushed mixed peppercorns

1 tablespoon crushed juniper berries

Salt, to taste

1/4 cup clarified butter

1 teaspoon chopped shallot

1/2 cup venison stock reduction (demi-glace)

2 tablespoons currant jelly

4 ounces unsalted butter

2 cups milk scalded with 1 cup cream

1 sprig thyme

2 bay leaves

1 cup instant polenta

Salt and white pepper, to taste

Chanterelles, for garnish

Red cabbage braised with cider, balsamic and caraway, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the venison. Soak dry cranberries in port. Crust venison in crushed peppercorns and juniper berries. Season with salt. Sear in hot skillet with clarified butter on both sides, finish in oven, about 10 minutes for rare. Let rest. Deglaze skillet with port drained from cranberries, add chopped shallots, reduce to syrup. Add venison stock, reduce by half, finish with currant jelly, cranberries and butter. Season to taste. For the polenta, scald milk and cream together with thyme and bay leaves. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Bring to simmer and gradually whisk in polenta. Season with salt and pepper. Continue whisking until smooth and creamy. Whisk in butter. Keep in a warm place. Place quenelles of polenta in center of plate. Spoon sauce around. Slice venison and arrange around polenta. Garnish plates with sauteed chanterelles and red cabbage braised with cider, balsamic and caraway.