Saddle of Venison "Baden-Baden Style"

Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins

This is one of the most opulent, delicious meals you will ever prepare or eat. Due to the low-fat nature of venison, it is also fairly healthy and not as much of a "sin" as might seem once you read the list of ingredients below. Baden-Baden is a health spa and casino town in Germany that has ranked as one of the most elegant resorts in Europe for centuries. This dish is often encountered there during the fall, when venison is readily available. Nowadays, however, most venison in the U.S. (as well as Europe) is farm-raised, so this elegant meal can be enjoyed anytime. Treat this as a truly extra-special occasion dish and you will be amazed at the raves you will get from your guests.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 12 lbs venison saddle, lardooned (you can ask that high-priced butcher to do this for you; he'll oblige)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 granny smith apples, cored but not peeled,sliced into thin rings
  • 2 bananas, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 jar peeled chestnuts (available in most better supermarkets)
  • Sauce ingredients

  • 14 cup beef stock
  • 14 cup good-quality red wine, preferably one you will serve with this dish
  • 14 cup butter, ice cold,cut in flakes
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 12 cup dried juniper berries
  • 12 cup red seedless grapes
  • 12 cup seedless white grapes, mixed
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Season the prepared saddle of venison on all sides with salt and pepper, the sear it on all sides in the clarified butter in the roast pan over high heat until browned.
  2. Remove the venison briefly to insert a rack into the roasting pan.
  3. Replace venison on rack and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top; roast in pre-heated 400-degree oven for 15 minutes for rare, about 18 minutes for medium.
  4. Remove venison from the roaster, wrap in alumnium foil and keep warm.
  5. Remove the rack from the roaster.
  6. Scrape any browned bits from the rack into the roasting pan.
  7. On stovetop, saute the apple rings in the roasting pan, browning them lightly in the drippings.
  8. Remove the apple rings, reserve warm.
  9. Increase heat to high, and allow the drippings to bubble up.
  10. Reduce heat to medium and deglaze the roasting pan with the red wine and stock.
  11. Scrape up any browned bits.
  12. Pour the stock through a sieve into a saucepan.
  13. Reduce over medium-high heat (being careful not to burn and stirring constantly) until syrupy.
  14. Remove from heat and mix in cold butter flakes with wire whisk until melted and absorbed.
  15. Your stock is now a sauce.
  16. Season tot taste with salt and butter.
  17. If you would like the consistency to be slightly thicker, you should reduce the stock more before adding the butter flakes.
  18. Keep this sauce warm on the stove over low heat until ready to serve.
  19. In a separate saute pan, heat clarified butter over medium-high heat.
  20. Add juniper berries, grapes, chestnuts and banana cuts; lightly brown these over medium-high heat.
  21. Remove from heat and drizzle with honey, stir well to glaze all evenly.
  22. Keep warm until serving.
  23. Unwrap reserved venison saddle from aluminum foil.
  24. Using a deboning knife, separate meat from the bones and transfer the resulting filet to a cutting board.
  25. Arrange the saddle bones (the rack) on a warmed serving platter.
  26. (Pour any drippings from the foil into your sauce for extra flavor.) Cut the filet on a bias; reassemble the filet on top of the rack on the warmed serving platter.
  27. Garnish by surrounding the roast with apple rings, banana cuts, grapes, chestnuts and juniper berries.
  28. Nap the roast with a little of the sauce; serve the remaining sauce on the side.
  29. Serve this most delicious of all roasts accompanied by (commercially available) Spaetzle, Gnocchi, Polenta (cut into medaillions and pan-fried til crisp and golden brown) or oven-roasted Red Bliss potatoes.