Venison Steaks with Pomegranate Sauce and Parsnip Puree
1 small red onion
1 clove garlic
15 g flat leaf parsley
15 g mint
1 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 x 125 g venison steaks
50 g walnuts
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
400 ml pomegranate juice
1 kg parsnips
100 ml crème fraiche
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and grate the onion coarsely into a large bowl. Peel and finely chop the garlic, remove the leaves from the parsley and mint, chop and add all to the bowl with the allspice, olive oil and paprika. Add the venison steaks and turn to coat well. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Place the walnuts in a bag and crush roughly with a wooden spoon. Cut the pomegranate in half and remove all the seeds being careful to remove all of the white pith.
Cut the parsnips (no need to peel) into large chunks and place in a saucepan of slated cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash well. Season and stir in the crème fraiche.
Season the steaks and heat a large frying pan until hot. Add the steaks in a single layer and pan fry about 2-3 minutes each side or until just tender but still pink. Remove the meat and keep warm. Add any remaining marinade to the pan with the crushed walnuts and stir fry for a minute or two. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and pomegranate juice and boil vigorously for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half, Taste for seasoning and squeeze in the juice of half the lemon (from the chicory) adding more if required, then stir in the pomegranate seeds.
Divide the parsnip puree between each of 6 warmed dinner plates. Top with venison steak and spoon over the sauce.
From archive of my Cheat’s Dinner Party column Stella Magazine 18th January 2009