Venison Steaks with Cranberry Cumberland Sauce
Serves 2 - Cooking time 10-15 minutes
2 Venison steaks, each about 7-8 oz
1 dessert spoon crushed peppercorns
1 tbs groundnut oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
For the Sauce:
2 tbs cranberry jelly
1 tsp fresh grated root ginger
1 tsp mustard powder
Zest and juice half a large orange
Zest and juice half a small lemon
3 tbs Port
Make the sauce way ahead of time - preferably a couple of hours or even several days ahead so there is time for the flavours to develop. Take off the outer zest of half the orange and the lemon using a potato peeler, then with a sharp knife shred these into really fine hair-like strips about 1 cm long.
Then place the cranberry jelly, ginger and mustard in a saucepan, add the zest and the squeezed orange and lemon juice, and place it over a medium heat. Now bring it up to simmering point, whisking well to combine everything together, then as soon as it begins to simmer turn the heat off, stir in the port and pour it into a jug to keep till needed. Heat up before adding to the steaks.
When you are ready to cook the steaks, heat the oil in a medium sized, thick-based frying pan. Dry the Venison thorougly with kitchen paper, then sprinkle and press the crushed peppercorns firmly over both sides of each steak. When the oil is smoking hot, drop the steaks into the pan and let them cook for 4 minutes on each side for medium (3 minutes for rare and 6 minutes for well done).
Halfway through add the shallots and move them around the pan to cook and brown at the edges. Then, before the end of the cooking time, pour in the sauce - not over but around the steaks. Let it bubble for a minute or two, season with salt, and then serve the steaks with the sauce poured over. A garnish of watercress would be nice, and a good accompaniment would be mini jacket potatoes and a mixed leaf salad.