Loin of venison with bacon and Irish whiskey cream

Impress your guests with Paul Rankin's splendid recipe for pan-fried venison with lentils and a rich whiskey cream sauce
By Paul Rankin
Loin of venison with bacon and Irish whiskey cream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 500 g boneless venison loin, well trimmed
  • 3 tbsp Irish whiskey
  • 12 rashers rashers of streaky bacon
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

For the lentils:

  • 100 g Puy lentils
  • 700 ml beef stock, or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp onions, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp leeks, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp celery, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp potatoes, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 100 g unsalted butter, chilled and diced

For the spice mixture:

  • 6 juniper berries
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp salt

For the Irish whiskey cream:

  • 250 ml brown chicken stock
  • 125 ml double cream

Method

1. First cook the lentils. Rinse them in plenty of cold water, then put them into a small pan with the stock or water and the salt.

2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the diced onion, carrot, leek, celery and potato and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, or until everything is fully cooked.

3. Add the vinegar and whisk in the diced butter. Keep warm. If you need to plan ahead, the lentils can be kept for a day or two in the fridge. If you are doing this, do not add the butter until you reheat the lentils before serving.

4. To make the spice mixture, grind the juniper berries, cloves, thyme, peppercorns and salt together using a pestle and mortar or in a small coffee grinder.

5. Slice the venison loin into 12 even sliced medallions and sprinkle the meat evenly with the spice mixture. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the whiskey over them.

6. Wrap a slice of streaky bacon around the circumference of each medallion and fix it in place with a cocktail stick.

7. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan. Add in the medallions and fry over a high heat for 2 minutes on each side, then turn each medallion onto its circumference to crisp up the bacon a little.

8. When all the bacon is lightly crisped all round, pour off any excess fat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of whiskey to the saucepan. Carefully ignite it to flambé the venison.

9. Remove the meat, and allow it to rest in a warm place while finishing the sauce.

10. To make the Irish whiskey cream, place the stock in a saucepan and boil over a high heat until the sauce consistency preferred is reached. Add the cream and return to the boil.

11. Place two of the medallions in the centre of each warm plate, and pour the sauce around them. Serve with lentils.

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