Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce for Venison

A very special sauce infused with a hint of dark chocolate. The chocolate adds a deep, velvety richness to the sauce – you’ll hardly know it is there. You can keep the base in the fridge for up to 3 days and use it to deglaze the pan after browning or cooking the venison for even more flavour.


1 tbsp sunflower oil, for frying

about 100g venison or beef trimmings

4 shallots, sliced (keep skins and trimmings)

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

8 whole peppercorns, lightly crushed

300ml full-bodied red wine

400ml good beef or game stock

40g top-quality bitter chocolate (over 70% cocoa solids)

salt and freshly ground black pepper


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Heat a large frying pan, add a tablespoon of sunflower oil and fry the venison trimmings until browned. Add the sliced shallot trimmings, thyme, bay leaf and crushed peppercorns and cook until golden. Pour in the wine and scrape with a wooden spatula to dislodge all the sticky brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Boil until almost all the wine has disappeared. Add the stock and gently simmer for 30 minutes until reduced by half. Strain into a jug, cool and refrigerate. This will be the base of the sauce (skim before using).

Brown or sear the venison in the usual way, and cook according to the recipe. While the meat is resting, take the pan that the venison was cooked in and set it over a medium heat. Pour in the reduced red wine base and bring to the boil, scraping the base of the pan to dislodge any sticky brown bits, simmer for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Taste and season. Strain into a warm gravy boat and serve with the venison. The sauce should be syrupy, not thick.


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