Serves 4 good sized portions
4 venison haunch steaks
300ml “good” red wine
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon of black peppercorns
4 sprigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
For the Chianti Sauce:
500ml Chianti (or a good, full bodied red wine)
Pinch of cinnamon
For the Caponata:
4 tablespoons of good oil
1 red onion (diced)
1 fennel (diced)
1 teaspoon dried chilli
2 celery stalks
250g cherry tomatoes
1 medium Crown Prince squash (peeled, diced and roasted)
2 teaspoons of sugar
125g raisins (steeped in red wine vinegar for atleast 2 hours)
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
Marinate the venison in the red wine, juniper berries, peppercorns, thyme and garlic for at least 2 hours, in a hot pan and add the oil, red onion, fennel, dried chilli, celery and pinenuts and saute until golden. Add cherry tomatoes, the roasted squash, sugar, raisins, cocoa powder and thyme, then let it cook out for another five minutes and season to taste.
For the Chianti sauce; combine the red wine and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and reduce sauce by half or until it has reached a syrupy consistency, add cinnamon and leave to cool.
Remove the venison from the marinade and pat dry. Char grill on a high heat for a bout 3-4 minutes both sides, depending on size. Venison has almost no fat so cooking it more than medium rare will dry it out.
Rest the venison for at least 5 minutes. Spoon the caponata onto a warm plate, slice and place the venison onto the caponata and drizzle over the Chianti sauce, season to taste.