No post yesterday and I’m running late today – I’m just busy, busy, busy! Part of it is I’m waiting on something to tell you all about, but it’s a bit out of my control right now so you get another recipe.
If you remember, last week I posted about the meals we were served when The Young One and I attended “Golden Flash Day” at Kent State so we could tour the College of Communication and Information and attend a seminar on financial aid (which we are in dire need of). It was basically gluten, carbage and more gluten-y carbage, and toward the end of the post I made mention that I went back for seconds of the venison I made for dinner that night.
This is it.
Yes, I was pretty much starving, but I may have gone back for seconds anyway – something I don’t do often – because this was just delicious. I used the last of our venison backstrap for the dish, and I’m really mourning it’s passing because I’ve decided it is in the Top 3 of my favorite cuts of meat. Cooked properly, it is flavorful, juicy and unbelievably tender even when prepared very, very rare, and I’m a medium-rare to medium kinda gal when it comes to red meat. Served over the celery root-pear puree, it was one of the best meals I’d eaten, ravenously hungry or not, in quite some time. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
I know the list of ingredients is long, as are the directions, but it’s not difficult at all – you’re simply making two separate components for the dish (which I basely stole from Emeril Lagasse). When it comes down to it, the most time-consuming part of the recipe is boiling the celery root.
Note: If you don’t have any venison backstrap – you poor thing – this would work quite well with beef tenderloin.
- 4 venison backstrap medallions, about 6 ounces each
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 large pear, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 tablespoons ghee or butter, divided
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup coconut milk or heavy cream
- pinch nutmeg
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saucepan, cover the celery root with water. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
- While the celery root is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pear, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking, until the pear break down and the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Transfer the celery root and pear mixture to a food processor. Add the coconut milk or cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of ghee and puree until smooth. Season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
- Season the venison on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat the ghee in a large skillet over high heat. Sear the venison until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and cover loosely with foil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the olive oil and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to turn golden, 4 or 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, stirring up any brown bits, and return the venison to the pan along with the accumulated juices. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the venison is at the preferred doneness. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Divide the celery root-pear puree among 4 serving plates. Slice the venison medallions and place on the puree; drizzle with the balsamic reduction in the pan and top with the caramelized onions.
- Nutrition (per serving): 453 calories, 28.8g total fat, 88.5mg cholesterol, 155.8mg sodium, 750.8mg potassium, 26.1g carbohydrates, 4.3g fiber, 11.3g sugar, 19.2g protein