Sauté of Game ‘Veal’ with Cassis and Rosemary Jus Lié

KevinBig Game, From The Wild, Moose, Recipes, WineLeave a Comment

Tonight, somehow, I feel I would be making Escoffier proud. Many times I’ve read about his sauces for game, often including currant fruits. Tonight I went down that road for the first time. But let me start from the very begninning. It’s going to be a long post tonight.

I’ve been obsessed with wine recently. I’ve been tasting a lot, am planning a purchase to stock a friend’s cellar, and am planning the coming ‘4 Wines and A Plate’ events. And my new favorite wine dude Gary V. from Wine Library TV [badge link on lower left] has gone to great lengths, even on Conan OBrien, to encourage people to train their palates eating those things that we taste in wine. So what does that have to do with this dish? Well, I thought it would be interesting to try to ‘reverse engineer’ the dish to have the flavor elements the paired wine might have. See, generally, I’m with Robert Parker, who wrote: “a good wine served with a good dish to good company is always in good taste“. But tonight, I was looking for some synergy. Again, I’d never played with this before.

So, I figured, I’d start with some black currant jam for some dark fruits. Some rosemary for some evergreen herbaceousness. Game as the meat for a little gamey-vibe. Black pepper to mirror it in the wine. So essentially, this dish was designed to have a flavor profile that I know I’d really enjoy in a nice bottle of a Bordeaux I was wanting to try. I figured it might be novel. A little fun. I did not anticipate it being effective. Or that it would rock my world. I’m quite proud of this one now, and those who eat game in my kitchen can expect to see something along these lines this fall, as it really blew me away. So did the wine. An amazing QPR hero for Bordeaux. I’ll be buying more very, very soon. So here’s the recipe, so that I can remember how to make it for my friends as this season’s prime cuts come into the kitchen:

4 palm size tender steaks of game [calf moose, moose, elk] few tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
2-3 tbsp black peppercorns
kosher salt
2-3 tbsp black currant jam [I used the Hero brand] 1/4 cup of stock [water would likely do]

Let meat come to room temperature. While it’s warming, crush the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until there are few, if any, whole ones left. Pepper the meat liberally – use your discretion, don’t necessarily use all of it. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a sauté pan. When it starts to brown lightly around the edges, add the meat. Season the tops with salt. Let the meat cook most of the way on this side, to allow it to caramelize as well as possible. Don’t bother touching it until it has ‘let go of the pan’ – ie, doesn’t stick, and is browned underneath. I suppose knowing how to manage your heat is key – medium is all I can really recommend. You want to hear frying action, but not in an aggressive fashion. Flip, season with salt, and cook to preferred doneness. Remove and reserve. The pan with have ‘fond’, deglaze with stock/water, scrape the goodness up, and add the rosemary and black currant jam. Stir to dissolve. Add another tbsp of butter when it looks like a nice consistency, and stir it in off the heat.

This sounds complicated actually. Maybe in the ‘intermediate to advanced’ level of cookery. But if executed properly, it’s really quite something with a nice Bordeaux. Luckily, the wine I had gave ‘evergreen forest’ on the nose that matched beautifully with the rosemary. The deep fruits matched the currants. The pepper matched the pepper and spice. The two danced. It was a bit of a culinary epiphany. It’s not often I think ‘Damn! I gotta make this for my foodie and wine friends’. This was one of those nights.

So thanks to Gary Vaynerchuk and A. Escoffier for the insipiration – I feel I made a breakthrough tonight, with both food AND wine. I cannot wait to try this with ‘veal tenderloin’ and a higher pedigree Bordeaux later this fall.

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