Pepper Crusted Venison Steaks with Concord Grapes
From Chef Chris Douglas of Icarus Restaurant, adapted by StarChefs

Chef Douglas cooks Innovative American cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal, sustainable ingredients. He is a member of Chefs Collaborative.

Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 5 ounce venison steaks
    ( cut from the loin or leg with all silver skin removed, reserve all trimmings)
  • 4 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 quart concord grapes
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably a jammy Zinfandel
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil or another neutral flavored oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 cup veal stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • salt

Using the back of a small saute pan coarsely crack 3 tablespoons of the peppercorns. Generously coat the venison steaks. Set aside. Wash grapes and remove from stems, set aside 20 grapes. In a non-reactive 2 quart sauce pan, combine remaining grapes with 1 tablespoon peppercorns and red wine, reserving 1/4 cup of wine for deglazing. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain with a fine sieve pressing down on the grapes to extract as much juice as possible. Return juice to pan and slowly reduce to half the volume stirring occasionally to avoid scorching. Set aside and clean out pan.

Return pan to medium heat. When pan has been well preheated, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and then the venison trimmings. Brown well and add the shallots continue to cook until shallots are starting to caramelize. Add grape wine base and veal stock. Simmer slowly skimming as needed. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup and strain. Heat a non-reactive saute pan over medium high heat add oil and sear venison on all sides. Lower heat and cook to desired doneness, although it is best rare. Set meat aside to rest. Deglaze (dilute remaining juices) pan with reserved 1/4 cup wine. Add sauce and reserved grapes simmer for 1 minute and swirl in butter to finish. Place steak on plates and sauce over.


...Published: 2003