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Dinner and a Drink

Dinner and a Drink

Cool Springs Wines & Spirits staff members make recommendations for kitchen concoctions you can try at home. Some recipes contain wine or spirits and some are just paired with wine or spirits. In all cases, we promise palate-pleasing dishes that will hopefully inspire you to share with others.

Venison Steak Diane

Way back in my restaurant days, I probably prepared 10 of these a night, table side. However, most restaurants substitute filet mignon for venison (and so can you), but ’tis the season (archery season, that is), here’s a simple yet “fancy” dish to offer guests or to elevate a night in.

Steak Diane really needs a tender cut, and with venison that means backstrap or loin in non-hunter vernacular. The best way to cook this is with a large piece of backstrap that you then cut into medallions right before you serve. If you have regular medallions, it will still work. While it is important to use heavy cream for this recipe (lighter creams will separate), it is not that important to have fancy brandy for this recipe  – something you would drink.  Serves 2, and can be doubled

Wine Pairing: Serve with a big red wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, or Petit Verdot.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Photo by Holly A. Heyser









  • 1/2 lb piece of venison backstrap (loin), boned lamb loin or beef filet mignon
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup venison stock or beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Minced herbs for garnish (basil, parsley, chives, etc)


  1. Bring the venison loin out of the fridge, salt it well and let it come to room temperature, at least 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat for about 90 seconds. Pat the venison dry with a paper towel and cook it on all sides.
  3. Turn the heat to medium so the butter doesn’t scorch. It should take about 8-10 minutes or so to get a nice brown crust on the venison without overcooking the center.
  4. Remove the venison, tent loosely with foil and set aside. Add the shallots to the saute pan and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Don’t let the garlic burn.
  5. Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping off any stuck-on bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Let the brandy cook down almost to a glaze, then add the venison stock, tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
  6. Let this boil down until a wooden spoon dragged across the pan leaves a trail behind it that does not fill in for a second or two. This should take about 3 minutes on high heat.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the boiling subside. Stir in the cream until the sauce is as light as you like. Don’t let the sauce boil again or it could break.
  8. Slice the venison into thick medallions. If you find you have not cooked it enough, let the meat swim in the sauce for a few moments to heat through. If the venison is to your liking, pour some sauce on a plate and top with the meat.
  9. Garnish with chopped herbs. Chives is traditional but basil and parsley are also nice.

This recipe is courtesy of Barefoot Contessa Parties! All Rights Reserved