Batch cookbook's venison, moose, or grass-fed beef with brandy raspberry reduction

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Leave it to Dana Harrison and Joel MacCharles, authors of Batch cookbook on preserving and jam making, to show you a much wider range of preserving that the home cook can do and the various applications of those products. For a savoury application of raspberry jam, they've come up with this recipe for game meat with brandy raspberry reduction. 

For the jam, brandy adds a touch of warmth to it, as well as flavour, giving the sweet condiment more balance. If you don't have brandy, feel free to substitute it with Grand Marnier or dark rum. You can also replace half of the raspberries with strawberries. The variations are endless.

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10 peppercorns
5 juniper berries
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 game (or grass-fed) beef steaks, 1 inch thick, at room temperature
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup veal or beef stock, divided
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup raspberry brandy jam

Heat a cast iron pan over high heat on it for 5 minutes. It must be ridiculously hot. There is no need to add fat or oil. 

While the pan is heating, create a jelly sack with a piece of cheesecloth. Add the peppercorns, juniper berries, thyme, and bay leaves and seal the sack. 

Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. 

Place the steaks carefully in the pan. Don’t touch them. Time 2 minutes exactly, then flip the steaks. Wait two more minutes, without touching. 

Remove the meat and let it rest on a plate, loosely tented with aluminum foil. 

Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of the stock, stirring to remove any bits stuck to the pan. Turn down the heat to medium-high and cook the onion until translucent, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. 

Add remaining stock and the jelly sack and return to a boil. Reduce the stock by half, about 6–10 minutes, remove the jelly sack and turn down the heat to a simmer. 

Remove stock from heat, stir in the jam, and taste. Adjust the flavour by adding some of the remaining stock, salt, or pepper. 

Slice the meat across the bias, spoon the sauce over top, and allow it to rest for 3 additional minutes before serving. 

Raspberry jam

4 cups raspberries
3 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
20 whole peppercorns
1/4 cup brandy

Crush the raspberries with the sugar and lemon juice in a large non-reactive bowl. Cover loosely with a clean towel and place on the counter for 1–2 hours or in the fridge for up to two days.  

Prepare your canning pot and rack, and sterilize your jars and lids.  

Create a jelly sack with the cheesecloth and place the peppercorns inside it.  

Put the jelly sack in a pot with the raspberries and their liquid. Add the brandy and bring to a boil over high heat before lowering to a simmer. Skim off any foam and simmer until the gelling point, about 10–15 minutes. See the freezer test on page 13 if you’re not sure when to stop cooking.  

Remove the jelly sack from the pot.  

Remove the jars from the canner and turn the heat to high. Ladle the jam into the hot jars, wipe the rims, and apply the lids. Process for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude and additional processing time if you live in high altitude areas). Remove the jars and allow them to cool.

2 to 4 servings