HERB MARINATED VENISON STEAK W/ CARAMELIZED ONION & GRUYERE CUSTARD
Looking for a fancy venison steak dinner that that'll impress your guests and doesn't take a lot of work? We'll this is it! This meal is all about the prep and when its time to serve, it comes together in a manner of minutes.
The custard is versatile in that fact that you can swap/add vegetables for the most part as long as you stick with the standard free standing custard ratio, which is 2 parts liquid and 1 part egg. In this case this recipe uses 1 egg for every 1/2 cup of liquid. The custards can be made 1 day ahead of time, chilled and reheated in a 325F degree oven for about 8 minutes. They can be cooked in small sized baking dishes and served directly in them or baked in silicone molds or foil baking dishes and popped out. Another awesome idea for a great custard that pairs well with steaks is a mushroom, asparagus and fontina cheese.
For the Venison Steak Marinade
1/2 cup - extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup - basil
1/4 cup - chives
1/4 cup - parsley
1/4 cup - cilantro
2 - garlic cloves (chopped)
6 - juniper berries (chopped)
1 tablespoon - cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon - fish sauce (optional)
4 - 6 ounce venison steaks
For the Caramelized Onion Custard
1 large onion - thinly sliced
1 tablespoon - chives
1 teaspoon - fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon - kosher salt (divided)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, fontina, Gruyere)
3 - eggs
1 1/2 cups - half and half ( or cream and milk mixture)
2 tablespoons - high smoke point cooking oil
Marinate the steaks
Add all of the ingredients for the marinade (minus the meat) to a blender and blend until very smooth. In a large baking dish or gallon plastic baggy add the steaks and marinade. Marinating the steaks for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours. If the steaks are not completely covered by the marinade, turn a couple of times during the process.
*** Remember to remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes to one hour before cooking. This ensures even cooking and a better crust.
Make the Custards
Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. In a large heavy bottomed skillet, heat the two tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Add the onions to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 15-20 minutes while stirring often until the onions are a rich brown color. If the onions start to dry out in the beginning of the cooking process, add about 1 teaspoon of oil. If the onions start to dry out just as they are starting to brown, you can add a splash of water and continue to cook until brown and creamy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme and the chives. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
In a bowl mix together the 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper eggs and half & half and mix very well. Add the cheese and onion mixture and mix until combined. You can pour these into ramekins if you're wanting to serve them directly from the vessel or pour the mixture into tin or silicone baking molds. They should be around 3 ounce serving sizes (give or take).
Bake in a 325F degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until they are set. This means when wiggled, the mixture is no longer runny and (jiggles) like jello. Set the custards to the side to rest while you cook the steaks.
Cook the Venison Steaks
Wipe the marinade off of the steaks and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan or grill over medium high heat. If using a pan, make sure you use a high smoke point oil to prevent scorching.
Cook until you reach your desired internal temperature (hopefully no more than medium rare). Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving.