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Published: Tuesday, 1/26/2010

Peppered Venison Loin

2 venison loins (backstrap), deboned and cut into 2-to-3-ounce steaks

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup muscadine jelly (or whatever you have on hand)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup red wine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Using a butcher's mallet, give each cutlet a small hit or two just prior to seasoning each one with pepper and salt. To a hot pan over high heat, add oil. Sear each cutlet, one or two at a time, in hot oil until it is brown on both sides. Placed each browned steak on a sheet pan and reserve.

Once the steaks have been cooked, add onion and garlic to pan. Cook while stirring until they become translucent and soft. Add jelly, vinegar, and wine and bring to a boil. While stirring at a hard boil, let liquid reduce by half. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Taste the sauce and season with salt. Just prior to serving, reheat the venison in a hot oven. Be careful not to overcook (beyond medium-rare to medium).

To serve, place cutlets on a plate with potatoes or other starch. Spoon generous amounts of muscadine sauce over each one.

Yield: 6 servings

Source: Chef John Besh, chef-owner of August restaurant in New Orleans

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