The crostini has made a name for itself in restaurants, at dinner parties, and on home date nights. The canvas of a blank French bread allows the chef to paint the diner’s palette with a full flavor experience all in one bite. Working with the crostini can open creative avenues without requiring much time or cooking experience, therefore making it one of my favorite ways to practice building complex and well-rounded flavor profiles I can then rotate into my cooking compilation — including tasty venison.
This venison and cherry onion jam crostini tells an entire story in just one bite. The cherry onion jam is savory, but just a little sweet, with a kick of heat from the jalapenos. The sour cream and horseradish add a cool freshness to the rich cherry onion jam. Everything piles perfectly atop the tender venison backstrap.
Venison and Cherry Onion Jam Crostini
Servings: 4 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 1.5 pounds venison backstrap
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Montreal steak seasoning
- 4 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons Prosecco vinegar
- Two medium jalapenos, diced
- 1 15oz can cherries, dark sweet pitted cherries juice drained
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 -2 tablespoons horseradish
- Loaf of French bread, sliced into 1 ½ inch piece
- Generously season the venison backstrap with the Montreal Steak seasoning.
- To a gallon-size freezer bag, add the tablespoon of butter and two cloves of garlic, crushed, and the seasoned venison backstrap. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.
- In a large pot filled with water submerge the venison backstrap. Clips can help keep the venison submerged during the cooking process.
- Set the water to 129 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook venison for three hours for medium rare.
- Once the venison is finished in the sous vide, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the outside of the venison backstrap.
- Thinly slice the backstrap for the crostini.
HOW TO CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS
- Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.
- Thinly slice the four onions and add to the skillet. Cover with olive oil.
- Let the onions caramelize for ten minutes, stirring to keep them from burning to the bottom of the skillet.
- Sprinkle the teaspoon of salt over the onions to help with further developing the caramelization.
- Continue cooking the onions for 30 to 45 minutes. If the onions seem to be drying out a tablespoon of water or balsamic vinegar can be added to keep them from burning.
- Stir the onions often enough to keep them from burning to the pan, but not so often that you disrupt the caramelizing. In the beginning, you may scrape the pan every few minutes, but as the time continues it will increase to every minute.
- Continue browning and stirring the onions until they are a burnt caramel color and very soft.
HOW TO MAKE THE CHERRY ONION JAM
- Once the onions are fully caramelized, drizzle the tablespoon of honey over them. Increase the heat to medium.
- Add the Prosecco vinegar and diced jalapenos. Drain the juice from the cherries and then add them.
- Stir everything together and allow to reduce into a jam for 15 minutes.
CREATING THE VENISON AND CHERRY ONION JAM CROSTINI
- Slice the French bread baguette into thin slices, about an inch and half thick. Brush with a little olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
- Under the broil, lightly brown the bread until the edges start to turn golden brown and the bread is crispy.
- In a small bowl, mix the sour cream and horseradish. If you are a fan of the horseradish spicy kick you can add a little extra horseradish.
- To the toasted bread add a slice of venison backstrap, a spoonful of the cherry onion jam, and a dollop of the sour cream and horseradish sauce.
Article and photo courtesy of Harvesting Nature. Click here to subscribe to the quarterly Harvesting Nature magazine, And Click here to enjoy the latest episode of the wild fish and game podcast.