Caramelized onions always add a savory sweetness to any dish, and in this recipe, they're cooked down with chicken stock and a little cream. Served with simply sauteed venison loin, the onions add comforting richness to the lean meat. Venison pairs well with fruit, and the rustic apple-and-pear sauce with cinnamon and clove is this recipe's side dish.
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- dash Kosher salt
- dash Freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock, homemade or packaged (not canned)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 large apples, peeled and cored
- 1 Bosc pear, peeled and cored
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 venison loins
- 1 garlic clove
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, sprinkle the brown sugar on top, and season with Kosher salt and several good grinds of black pepper.
- Cover and lower the heat to simmer for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onions are softened. Stir the onions well, stirring up from the bottom of the skillet, and cook on low for 15 minutes until the onions are golden and just starting to brown.
- Stir in the chicken broth, heavy cream and 1 sprig of fresh thyme and simmer slowly 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and the sauce is thickened.
- While the onions are cooking, cut the apples and pears into 1-inch pieces, and combine with the cinnamon stick, cloves and grated ginger with 1/2 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the saucepan, and simmer 15 minutes until the fruit is soft.
- Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves, and use a potato masher to mash the apples and pear coarsely, like a thick applesauce. Cover and keep warm.
- Allow the venison loins to come to room temperature, then season them with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil in a large skillet over high, until the oil shimmers. Sear the venison loins on all sides, turning with tongs, until evenly browned.
- Smash the garlic clove on a cutting board with the palm of your hand or with a chef's knife. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, the smashed garlic clove, and 2 sprigs fresh thyme to the pan, and lower the heat to medium.
- Baste the venison with the melted butter, turning them over once, for 10 minutes or until their internal temperature reaches 135°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loins.
- Transfer the venison to a cutting board and let the loins rest 10 minutes, before cutting into slices on the diagonal. To serve, portion the creamy caramelized onions on plates, then fan slices of the venison on top. Sprinkle with Kosher salt or a flaky sea salt and the grated lemon zest. Spoon the apple-pear sauce on the side, and serve.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||36 g|
|Saturated Fat||17 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||14 g|
|Dietary Fiber||8 g|