Venison is super lean and cooks very quickly – this impressive dish of Venison Steak with Port and Red Berry Sauce can be on the table in 20 minutes or less! Serve with a green salad or mashed potatoes and steamed spinach.
You might think that the healthy eating pledge I made at the beginning of January has long been abandoned for Creme Egg Brownies and Marble Cake… You would be wrong. Mostly. Mostly wrong. Because, yes, I have sampled all those yummy indulgent goodies – I would be superhuman if I managed to ignore them completely. I have certainly not abandoned my cocktails either.
But I have also been eating a healthy diet and exercising too – when tiredness and LIFE haven’t gotten in the way. I haven’t weighed myself of late (because, get this, the batteries from the scales were removed so that they could be used in the kitchen scales) but my clothes fit a bit better and I am generally feeling stronger and healthier.
I have been relying on the same healthy meals a little too often however and I am getting a wee bit tired of them… So I was delighted when Iceland invited me to take part in Iceland’s Power of Frozen campaign – I love rummaging in shops for new exciting ingredients (seriously, I even do that while on holiday).
I must admit it had been a while since I visited Iceland and so I wasn’t sure what to expect beyond the usual frozen meals and fish fingers. Turns out things have changed somewhat since my last foray – because I found lots of new and exciting products amongst the usual suspects.
The frozen seafood was the biggest draw – I literally pounced on the giant tiger prawns which are absolutely excellent value and also got some cooked lobster tails that I can’t wait to try. But there were also plenty of interesting options in the vegetable section, including curly kale, sweet potatoes, asparagus spears and very conveniently pre-chopped onions and herbs.
I also got some venison steaks from the Kenzi range of specialty meat (which is quite exotic and includes wild boar, ostrich, kangaroo and wagyu beef among others) – they were a good size and simply amazing value. I haven’t cooked with venison much, but these steaks are such a lean cut and perfect if you are watching your diet. Since the meat is so lean, it’s important not to overcook it as it will quickly turn tough.
If served rare however it is a real treat – and the steaks I got from Iceland exceeded all my expectations. I will be returning to stock up again and to try some of the other products from the range.
I paired the steaks with a very easy red berry sauce spiked with a little leftover Christmas Port and served them with some crushed potatoes and celeriac.
Venison Steak with port and berry sauce
- 2 venison steaks 200g |7oz each
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary very finely chopped
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper to season
For the sauce
- 150 g | 5.3oz mixed red berries
- 2 tbsp Port or red wine
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly or smooth cranberry sauce
- If you are using frozen steaks then take out of the freezer the day before and allow them to defrost in the fridge overnight. Using kitchen towel, pat the steaks as dry as possible and season on both sides with a little salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Heat the butter and sunflower oil in a heavy frying pan until the butter has melted and started foaming.
- Reduce heat to medium high and use tongs to place the steaks on the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes and turn over once nicely browned on one side (lift the edge with the tongs to check).
- Cook for a further 3-4 minutes on the other side for medium cut steaks – you will need to cook longer if the steaks are really thick.
- Once the steaks are nicely browned on both sides transfer them onto a plate and cover with foil. Leave them to rest for 5-10 minutes. Don't skip this 'resting' stage! Set aside while you are making the sauce.
- Deglaze the hot pan with a good splash of Port. Add the jelly and stir to dissolve. Add the berries and briefly cook until they start to soften and release their juices.
- Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary and serve the steaks with the sauce on the side – mashed potatoes (or celeriac) and steamed spinach make great sides or stick to a green salad a lighter meal.