Mrs. Dude and I have a deal. Over the Christmas holidays, she gets a traditional smoked turkey dinner (I'd rather have a goose or duck or squab than turkey). We make all the fixings. In exchange, I get to cook whatever I want for the rest of the holidays. I confess, I do end up going a little hog-wild. This year, I walked past the meat counter at Whole Foods, and the rack of venison spoke to me. I had to have it. As an impulse buy, I brought home that rack of venison.
I modified the rack of venison with jus recipe from Meat: A Kitchen Education. The basic recipe for the jus requires some meat schmutz (That is, the brown stains on the pan you get from browning meat). James Peterson supplies the extra schmutz by browning some veal stew meat. I provided it using some turkey schmutz I had from browning some turkey necks. Substitute whatever meat schmutz you have on hand.
1 rack of venison (1 ½ lb)Start with a beautiful rack o' venison. Look at that beautiful slab o' meat. Pull it out of the fridge an hour in advance to come up to room temperature.
2 cups turkey stock
turkey (or other meat) schmutz from browning the meat
1 tbsp salt (sel gris)
After reading Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, I've been experimenting with more different finishing salts. In this particular case, I used a sel gris I got from Penzey's. It's a large crystal salt.
It makes a nice crust when you pat it on the outside of the rack of venison.
Dust the venison with fresh cracked pepper. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Slice the shallot, and place in the pan under the venison. Place the rack into the oven, bake for 25ish minutes, or until it registers 130°F when you insert a thermometer into the side, avoiding the bone. That'll give you a nice medium-rare venison.
Meanwhile, deglaze your schmutz with turkey stock. I heated the pan I had used to brown turkey necks for a few minutes with the turkey stock in there, scraping periodically.
When you pull the rack of venison out of the oven, transfer the rack to a cutting board and cover with foil to rest for ten-fifteen minutes.
Transfer the deglazed schmutz to your venison pan. Deglaze that schmutz over medium-high heat. Add turkey stock as necessary to keep the pan from drying out.
Look at that delicious stuff. Finally, pour through a fine sieve shortly before serving.
Once you've rested your venison, carve into individual ribs.
Bask in the wonder of venison.
Love that salt crust.
Serve with a little jus dribbled on top.
Delicioso. Two out of three members of the Dude family *loved* it. Mrs. Dude found the venison to be a bit gamy for her taste. I found different parts of the rack to have different amounts of gaminess, but I loved them all. And the turkey-venison jus complimented everything perfectly.