VENISON ESCALOPE with MUSHROOM SAUCE & ARANCINI

Updated: Sep 6


Venison Loin Escalope with Arancini
Photo by Larry White

It seems like everyone is looking for a new way to cook their venison loins these days. While this recipe may not be in steak form, its delicious and a comfort food classic. It's usually made with leans cuts a veal which works out perfectly using venison in its place.


Arancini is classically made with risotto and works great with left over risotto. Here I used short grain rice in place of the risotto. It's a lot less work than making risotto and with its sticky nature, its perfect for forming these rice balls. The rice is stuffed with mozzarella cheese in the center, formed into a ball and then fried until golden brown. They are simple to make and super delicious.


Serves: 4


Cooks Notes:

  • The secret to tenderness here is to butterfly and pound the venison cutlets to 1/8' to 1/4' thickness. Place the meat on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound with the bottom of a skillet or meat mallet.

  • The arancini can be fully assembled and then frozen until ready to fry.

  • The mushroom sauce made 2 days ahead. Thin out with a little cream if its too thick.

  • The arancini can be made without adding an egg to the rice. The egg is added for extra moisture that wont compromise the integrity of the rice balls.

  • If you don't have any venison loins, you can use a steak from the hind legs. Just make sure that you butterfly and pound thin.


INGREDIENTS


For the Escalope

  • 4 - four ounce venison, butterflied and pounded to 1/4" thickness

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

  • 1/2 unsalted venison or chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled finely & finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme

  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • chopped parsley for a garnish


For the Arancini

  • 2 cups cooked short grain/sushi rice (follow instructions on package)

  • 2 eggs (for making egg wash)

  • 1 egg (this one is going in the rice)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2" pieces

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour

  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • cooking oil for frying


Short Grain Rice Arancini
Short Grain Rice Arancini


DIRECTIONS

  1. Form the arancini. Place the rice into a large bowl and add the lemon zest, herbs, Parmesan cheese and egg. Stir to combine. Scoop about a 1/4 cup of rice into your hand. Make a flat patty that's about 2" in diameter. Place a piece of mozzarella in the center and close up the rice forming a ball. Form the rest of the rice balls and place in the refrigerator while you make the breading station.

  2. Setup the arancini station. Set up a breading station. Arrange 3 containers on your counter top in a straight line. Place the flour in the first container, beaten eggs in the second container and the breadcrumbs in the third. (*You can save this breading station for the venison later on).

  3. Bread the arancini. Roll each rice ball into the flour, then beaten eggs and then breadcrumbs. Place the breaded balls in the refrigerator while you make the mushroom sauce.

  4. Hydrate the porcini mushrooms. Place the dried porcini into heat-proof vessel. Bring a 1/2 cup of water to a boil. Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.

  5. Set up a breading station for the meat. Either top off your rice breading station or make a new one. Arrange 3 containers big enough to fit the venison on your counter top. Place the flour in the first container, beaten eggs in the second container and the breadcrumbs along with the Parmesan in the third.

  6. Bread the meat. Season the venison with salt and black pepper on both sides. Dredge each piece of meat in the flour, shake off the excess. Dip the meat into the eggs and then into the breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Place in your refrigerator while you make the sauce.

  7. Make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes while stirring. Add the wine and turn the heat up to high. Cook the wine until it has reduced in volume by half. Strain the water in which the mushrooms were soaking directly into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium high. Chop the mushrooms roughly and add them to the pot. Add the sliced cremini mushrooms, thyme and heavy cream to the pot. Bring to a slow simmer and cook until the sauce has reduced down enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Turn on low and keep warm.

  8. Fry the arancini. Pre-heat your oven to low for keeping the arancini warm. Pour 3 inches of oil into a deep pot. Heat to a consistent temperature of 350 degrees F. Carefully lower a few balls into the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Work in batches here so that you don't overcrowd the pot. overcrowding can lower the oil temperature and also is a overflow hazard. Season the arancini with salt and pepper. Place in the low pre-heated oven to keep warm while you cook the venison.

  9. Cook the venison. In a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat until it just starts to smoke. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.

  10. Time to plate up. Place a venison cutlet on each plate along with a couple arancini and mushroom sauce. Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley and fresh cracked black pepper.