Venison with Iroquois White Corn Polenta
Chef Ben Ford of Ford’s Filling Station – Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2 venison loins, cleaned, with trimmings reserved
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Polenta:
  • 5 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 cups polenta
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • ½ cup Parmagiano
  • Fresh chopped rosemary or marjoram Escarole:
  • 4 cups escarole, cleaned and chopped
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper

    Spice Blend:
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Coriander
  • Black peppercorns
  • Bay leaves
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Dry chili pepper
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 cup Hedgehog mushrooms

  • Venison scraps
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • ½ cup cabernet sauvignon
  • 2 cups port
  • 3 quarts veal stock
  • 2 ounces foie gras

For Venison:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Marinate the venison loins with the olive oil, juniper berries, rosemary, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. In a pan in the oven, sear venison on all four sides and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Slice in medallions.

For Polenta:
Bring chicken stock or water to a boil. Add 2 cups of polenta and whisk for twenty minutes or until absorbed completely. Once soft, season with salt and pepper and add cup mascarpone and Parmagiano. Add the fresh chopped herbs.

For Escarole:
Place escarole in a hot saute pan. Add olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. Saute until escarole is soft and caramelized.

For Spice Blend:
In a small sauce pot, toast the mustard seeds, coriander, black pepper corns, bay leaves, fennel seeds, and dry chili pepper. Add ½ cup sugar, 1 ½ cup vinegar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and steep the spices, then pour the hot liquid over the mushrooms. Let sit for 1 hour.

For Sauce:
Brown venison scraps in a large sauce pan over very high heat with very little oil. Remove from pan and add carrot, fennel bulb, sweet onion, and garlic cloves. Roast for 4-5 min. Add bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, juniper berries and coriander seeds. Toast spices and add sliced venison.
Deglaze with cabernet sauvignon until dry. Add port and reduce until dry. Cover with veal stock and reduce by half (35 to 40 minutes). Remove venison and add liquid to small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the foie gras and whisk to emulsify. Season with salt.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place polenta in the center of a plate and top with escarole. Place venison medallions on top of escarole. Incorporate mushrooms with sauce, and drizzle around dish.



back to top

   Published: September 2006