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Roast Loin of Venison with Cranberries

2 thick slices of lemon
2 thick slices of orange
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 small bay leaf
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 pounds boneless loin of venison, at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon finely chopped juniper berries
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups beef or venison stock
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish

In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon, orange, ginger,
sugar and bay leaf with 1 cup of cold water. Bring to a boil over
high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to
moderate and boil, uncovered, until syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir in the cranberries, then remove from heat and cool. Transfer
the mixture to a glass container, coer and refrigerate for 1 to 2
days, stirring once or twice during that time.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Rub the venison with the olive oil, 3/4
teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of
the chopped juniper berries, pressing the seasonings into the meat.
Set the loin on a rack in a roasting pan and roast, basting frequently
with the pan juices, until medium-rare (about 135F on a meat
thermometer), 25 to 30 minutes. Cover the venison loosely with
foil and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, remove and discard the bay leaf and the lemon, orange
and ginger slices from the cranberries. In a food processor or
blender, puree half the cranberries and half the liquid until

In a medium nonreactive saucepan, boil the wine over high heat
until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 mintues. Add the stock and bring
to a boil. Add the cranberry puree, reduce the heat to low and
simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.

Strain the remaining whole cranberries and add them to the sauce
with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and chopped
juniper berries. Swirl in the cold butter.

Slice the venison thinly (stir any juices into the sauce) and serve
wtih the sauce, reheated if necessary.


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