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Fillets Of Venison With Juniper Berries

Juniper berries pairs very well with venison. Read the post Juniper Berries for more info on this superfood. To improve the flavour and soften the meat, marinate it for several hours or for up to 3 days in the fridge or freezer before cooking.  The Cooked Marinade used in this recipe is by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe book p. 294.   Be sure to also try the recipe for German Pot Roast (Sauerbraten).  It is an authentic German dish that is flavoured with Juniper berries.

2 × 400 g venison fillets

Cooked Marinade
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
100 ml sunflower oil
250 ml dry red wine
250 ml prepared beef stock or additional red wine
1 bay leaf
2.5 ml dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
2 juniper berries (optional)

Red Wine Jus
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) good-quality cabernet sauvignon
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) game or veal stock
8 juniper berries, crushed
2 garlic cloves, bruised
4 sprigs thyme, plus extra to serve
50 g butter, cut into small cubes
20 g butter plus 15 ml olive oil

To Serve
Mashed potato and steamed green beans

  1. To make the Cooked Marinade, saute the onion, carrot and garlic gently in the oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Pouring the marinade over the meat and marinate in a covered dish in the fridge for at least 2 or for up to 48 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
  5. Place all the sauce ingredients except the butter in a saucepan.
  6. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the liquid for 10 to 12 minutes, or until reduced by one-third. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and return to a clean saucepan. Reheat over a low heat, and add cubes of butter one at a time, whisking with a balloon whisk until all the butter is added.
  7. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper kitchen towels.  Note: the marinade can be turned into a sauce by mixing a little of the marinade with 10 ml corn flour and bringing it to a boil while stirring until thickened.
  8. In a roasting pan over high heat, melt the butter and olive oil.
  9. Sear the fillets until well browned all over.
  10. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
  12. Slice the fillets of venison into 2 cm thick pieces.
  13. Transfer the fillets to warmed plates and ladle with the red wine jus.
  14. Garnish with extra thyme sprigs and serve with creamy mashed potato and green beans.

2 to 4 servings.

Adapted from a recipe featured on