Sunday, 19 September 2010

the red deer dinner

This Sunday dinner was special.

Sølve’s colleague Asbjørn up in Stjørdal is an eager big game hunter. In the hunting season he more or less lives in his hunting lodge. He gets up at dawn and hunts for a few hours before he heads to the office. Everyone knows that he caught something nice when he grins like an idiot in the morning.

At least this is how the story goes according to Sølve.

For a hunter the sirloin of his prey is not just any sirloin. To prepare and serve a meal with this sirloin is the culinary equivalent of hanging the prey’s antlers on the wall. Therefore Sølve and I feel especially honored and privileged that Asbjørn gifted him this red deer sirloin that we had for Sunday dinner.

Before starting the preparation of the meat, it was slowly defrosted in the fridge over night, and then it lay in room temperature for half a day. Sølve cut of the tendons off the meat and sprinkled it with black pepper. Then it rested on the kitchen bench while he started the sauce.

Since autumn has arrived, it felt natural to include mushrooms – chanterelles, creminis and oyster mushrooms – as a side dish. For the sauce Sølve took half of all the mushrooms, chopped them and slowly fried them in butter on low heat. For the last couple of minutes he added finely chopped shallots and about 1 dl of Madeira. Mushrooms were the main ingredient in the sauce, but Sølve also used finely chopped Jerusalem artichoke. He added it with the Madeira + one finely chopped carrot and a fistful of finely chopped leek. Then he added 3 dl of cream and 2 dl of game stock and let it all simmer and reduced it to ca half. The main herbs in the sauce were fresh parsley and tarragon. Finally the sauce was topped off with a splash of Braastad’s organic cognac and fresh ground pepper, and then Sølve used a hand blender to make the sauce smooth.

While the sauce reduced, Sølve seared the meat before it was roasted at 60 ºC for about 2 hours. He had some butter on top of it so it wouldn’t go dry. When the meat reached 40 ºC Sølve took it out and let it rest. He then let the meat roast at 120 ºC until it reached 53 ºC. While it rested on the kitchen bench it rose to 55 ºC, and it fell to 54 ºC before it was cut and served.

While the meat roasted, Sølve slowly fried the mushrooms and boiled potatoes.

Rowan berry jelly would have been perfect with this meal. We totally forgot to buy it (or make it…), but the cherry tomatoes gave a bit of the same effect.

And voila! a most excellent dinner was served.

Thank you so much again, Asbjørn, for giving us the fantastic red deer sirloin for this meal! Hopefully next time we can enjoy a dinner like this with you.


  1. What a a wonderful meal. I do enjoy venison and Sølve's feast looks absolutely delicious!

    (p.s. love the reading while cooking photograph too)

  2. Looks delicious! Great photographs here.

  3. Aj Aj Aj! Dette så jo helt utrolig digg ut! Sølve virker som litt av en tryllekunstner på kjøkkenet. Heia for gode menn!

  4. i really, really shouldn't be reading your blog when i'm hungry. this looks way too good.

  5. This looks so delicious!
    And good pictures!

  6. Ajajajaj så sulten jeg ble.
    Og nå har jeg flyttet vestover, så jammen tror jeg ikke jeg kommer innom en dag for litt mat.

  7. Wow! Sølve is *serious* about cooking the meat just right! Respect! I also love that he 'flavored' the sauce with mushrooms, but then served the same mushrooms alongside.

    The perfect dinner to kick off fall season, simply awesome! Thanks for a lovely story of a venison meal coming to fruition...

  8. Oh! I hadn't even noticed yet: you had a most excellent Guigal Côte du Rhône with this meal. How suiting - what a great pairing!



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