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Rack of Venison served on Quince Puree with Quince Sauce
Todd and Ellen Gray, EquinoxWashington, DC
Adapted by StarChefs

Equinox is an award-winning restaurant located in Washington, DC. Owned and run by Chef Todd Gray and his wife, Ellen, the menu features Todd's distinctive regional cuisine. Here they share a recipe for venison, featuring quinces in two savory accompaniments.

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 pounds rib rack venison (preferably Cervena from New Zealand)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
  • 6 ounces extra virgin olive oil

Quince purée:

  • 6 Smyrna quince
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • kosher salt to taste

Quince sauce:

  • peelings from 6 quince
  • 1 cup game glace (available in gourmet markets) or red wine carrot sauce (see recipe below)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces red wine vinegar

To prepare the cervena: Marinate cervena with herbs and olive oil for 2 hours. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat, using some of oil from marinade. Sear rack of venison and place in 350ºF oven for 25 minutes or until medium rare.

To prepare the quince purée: Peel the quince and cut them into large dice. Heat sugar in sauce pot over low heat until a light caramel has formed. Add vinegar and cook out the acidity. Add stock, quince and salt. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Purée in a blender until smooth.

To prepare the quince sauce: Heat small sauce casserole and repeat the sugar and vinegar process used in the quince purée recipe. Add peelings and glace. Infuse sauce over low heat for 30 minutes, strain and keep warm.

Place a small amount of purée in the center of six serving plates. Top with sliced cervena and spoon a small amount of quince sauce around the meat.

Note: To make red wine carrot sauce, start by boiling 4 large carrots in salted water. Reduce 8 cups of red wine (Burgundy) down to 2 cups. When the carrots are soft, purée them and mix with the wine reduction. Pass through a fine mesh strainer and season to taste with salt and pepper.