Juniper-brined Cervena Venison Loin, Cherry Compote, and Pickled Mustard Seeds

Adapted by
May 2012
Yield: 8 Servings


Juniper-brined Cervena Venison Loin
1 cup water
1¼ tablespoons kosher salt
1¼ tablespoons maple syrup
1¼ tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons ground juniper berries
3½ pounds Cervena venison short loin, cleaned of silver skin and all sinew
Pickled Mustard Seeds
1 cup water
1 cup Champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 cup yellow mustard seeds, torn
2 fresh bay leaves
Cherry Compote
1 cup Red wine
1 cup Port
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 cups dried cherries
1 to 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
Spice Rub
½ tablespoon allspice berries
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon juniper berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
To Assemble and Serve
duck fat


For the Juniper-brined Cervena Venison Loin:
In a saucepot, heat the water, salt, maple syrup, black pepper, and juniper. Cool completely. Add the venison loin and brine to a vacuum bag, seal, and marinate overnight.

For the Pickled Mustard Seeds:
Bring the water, vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, and bay leaves to a light simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature for service.

For the Cherry Compote:
In a saucepot, combine the red wine, Port, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Pour the liquid over the dried cherries; steep until cool. Drain cherries from liquid and reserve. In a blender, purée cherries until smooth, adding reserved liquid if necessary. Pour into bowl and add whole grain mustard until desired consistency is achieved.

For the Spice Rub:
Toast and grind the allspice, coriander, cumin, juniper, and black pepper.

To Assemble and Serve:
Rinse the Juniper-brined Cervena Venison Loin and pat dry. Lightly dust venison with Spice Rub and salt. Sauté in duck fat, basting with butter until medium rare. Rest 5 minutes, and thinly slice. Spoon the Cherry Compote onto the plate, followed by a fan of the Juniper-brined Cervena Venison Loin slices. Top with Pickled Mustard Seeds.