A wonderful venison steak recipe that's perfect for a spectacular Christmas dinner. The tender, lean meat pairs brilliantly with rich blackberry, juniper and sloe gin sauce.
Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Cut the potatoes into 1cm (1/2in) cubes. Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling water for 8 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Heat the olive oil for 2-3 minutes in a large shallow roasting tin. Add the par-boiled potatoes and toss well in the oil. Scatter over the garlic cloves and rosemary and season well. Bake for 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until golden and crisp all over.
About 15 minutes before the potatoes are ready, start preparing the venison. Lay the steaks on a board and season well on both sides. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the steaks, 2 at a time, and cook for 2 minutes on each side for rare, 3 minutes for medium and 4 minutes for well done. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
Add the crushed juniper berries and sloe gin to the juices in the pan and bubble for a minute or so to deglaze the pan. Add the stock and bubble over a high heat for 3-4 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the butter and stir until melted. Scatter over the blackberries and heat through for 2-3 minutes or until the berries have softened but not completely broken down. Season to taste. Serve the steaks with the blackberry sauce poured over the top and the parmentier potatoes on the side.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.