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Kalahari Venison Medallions with Plum Sauce


Jacques Pépin developed this quick but sophisticated main dish using local African impala, but venison is a fine substitute.

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  1. 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  2. 1 rosemary sprig, leaves removed
  3. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  4. Eight 1/2-inch-thick venison loin medallions (about 3 ounces each)
  5. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  6. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  7. 1/2 cup dry red wine
  8. 1 cup beef or veal demiglace (see Note)
  9. 2 tablespoons damson plum or seedless blackberry jam
  1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon zest, rosemary leaves and 1 tablespoon of the oil to form a paste. Coat the venison medallions with the paste and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. In a large heavy skillet, melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Scrape the lemon and rosemary paste off the venison and season the medallions with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the pan and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the medallions to a plate, cover loosely with foil and keep warm.
  3. Add the wine to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil until a thick syrup forms, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the demiglace and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the jam until melted, then add any accumulated juices from the meat. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of butter until blended. Drizzle the sauce over the meat and serve.
Beef and veal demiglace are available at specialty food shops.