Just north of Copenhagen there is a beautiful forrest where the people of Denmark can take long walks, ride horses and watch the many animals. The forrest is called Dryehave, meaning the garden of animals. There are hundreds of deers, more than 1500 hundred allowed to run free and if you don’t brother them, they won’t brother you. There are in fact, deer all over Denmark and deer meat is considered a delicacy. Now it is hunting season and Danes are enjoying this special dish when celebrating special ocassions such as a round birthday. You may be wondering what a round birthday is. I must admit I had never heard of a “round” birthday before I came to Denmark. It is when you turn 30, 40, 50, 60 and more.
Reindeer Medallions with Chanterelle and Spinach
6 main course servings
Sauce: 1 tbsp. butter, 1 finely chopped shallot, 2 juniper berries, 1 sprig of thyme, ½ cup of white wine, ½ cup pear juice, ½ cup blackcurrurant juice, 2 cups venison stock, or beef bouillon, 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 3 oz. butter,
16 oz. spinach, 5 tbsp. butter, 2-2½ lbs. venison fillet, sliced in 12 equal parts, 2 oz. butter, 3 oz. chanterelle, 1 tbsp. butter
To make sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add shallots, thyme and juniper berries, and sauté until golden. Add wine, pear and blackcurrant juice and cook until reduced by half. Add venison stock, apple cider vinegar and cook until reduced by half. Whip butter in a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Set sauce aside.
To make venison, sauté tournedos 2 minutes on each side. Just before serving, sauté chanterelle on a warm pan in butter. Using the same skillet, sauté spinach 1-2 minutes.
To serve, place tournedos on 6 warmed plates. Place spinach and chanterelle next to them. Heat sauce carefully and spoon over the tournedos and onto the plate. Garnish with thyme.
Suggested accompaniment: fingerling potatoes.