Game meat is deep in colour and rich in flavour, which makes it a popular meal in Germany and Switzerland. Try out this recipe with potatoes and apple quarters browned in butter and cooked in white wine.
2 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon mustard seed, slightly crushed
2 bay leaves
½ tsp salt
680 g (1 ½ lb) venison steaks, 1 ½ cm (½ inch) thick
1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
4 to 6 slices of bacon
1 cup dry, red wine
1 tablespoon corn starch mixed with 2 tablespoons red wine
115 ml (4 oz) crème fraîche
Clean and slice vegetables into 6 mm (¼ inch) pieces. Lay sliced vegetables in bottom of oiled roaster or 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 inch) pan. Add mustard seed, bay leaves, salt and about 120 ml (½ cup) water and bake at 190°C (385°F) for 20 minutes.
While vegetables are roasting, wash and pat dry steaks. Mix juniper berries and peppercorns then rub steaks with mixture. Lay out steaks and place bacon to cover 50 to 90% of steak.
When vegetables have softened slightly, remove from oven, place steaks on top (bacon side up), and place pan back in oven. After 10 minutes, pour red wine over steaks, then bake another 15 to 20 minutes.
When done, remove from oven, and test steaks to make sure they are done. Remove steaks to platter, remove bacon, and keep warm. Pour off red wine juice into small saucepan and bring to a boil then reduce to half heat. Add corn starch slurry while stirring and stir until thick.
Add crème fraîche and stir until blended. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
You may make a roux with flour and butter and add red wine, instead of using cornstarch to thicken. You may also use pureed vegetables to thicken (they are usually discarded) for a healthy and tasty alternative.