December 7, 2020


Since the start of the catastrophe, Linda and I have been avoiding grocery stores and having everything delivered. That changes some habits and tradeoffs; in particular, we’ve been eating less meat and indulging in better (and better-raised) meat, much of it delivered from D’Artagnan, a wholesaler and restaurant supplier. They’re bound to be hard hit by the catastrophe and they’d be hard to replace, so this seems a useful indulgence.

Anyway, to fill out an order I’d bought a pair of venison tenderloins, and this weekend we had a Zoom party with friends in England — lunch for us, dinner for them. This was great fun; I haven’t done any company cooking since the disaster began.

I did the venison sous vide, 2 hours at 219°F, seasoned with ground pepper, ground juniper, and a liberal quantity of kosher salt, then seared 30 sec/side in a very hot pan.

For a sauce, I took 1 cup of duck stock (which is what I had on hand; chicken or beef would be fine) and reduced it to about ¼ cup. Actually, I reduced it even farther, making a glace, but I saved it easily enough with a little extra stock. While the seared venison was resting a melted some butter in the venison pan, cooked a handful of minced shallots briefly, and deglazed with the stock reduction plus (off heat) a shot of gin. Take this down just a touch, turn off the heat, and add a couple of ounces of creme fraiche.

This preparation is said to be Belgian, but nobody seems to record its name. Anybody know? or @eastgate.