Roasted Rack of Venison Wrapped in Sliced Pears
Todd English's Olives NY
8 to 10 fresh rosemary branches
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 racks of venison (4 chops to each 1-pound rack), Frenched
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pear butter (recipe below)
4 to 5 ripe pears
1 cup Poire Williams eau de vie
1 tablespoon sugar
Note: Rack of lamb or pork may be substituted for the venison (lamb should reach 130 degrees; pork, 158 degrees).
1 pound ripe pears, cored and sliced in half (skin on)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups pear nectar (pear or apple cider may be substituted)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large roasting pan, place the rosemary branches in a nestlike bundle. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season the venison racks with salt and pepper, then sear on all sides until deep brown. Remove the venison from the pan and spread 1/4 inch of the pear butter evenly over the meat. Slice the pears in half lengthwise, core, and thinly slice lengthwise. Layer the pears like shingles on top of the venison rack. Season with salt and pepper and place the racks on top of the rosemary nest and put in the oven. After 5 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue cooking for another 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees for medium-rare.
While the racks are cooking, heat the Poire Williams in a small saucepan, add sugar, and stir until dissolved. Increase the heat and reduce the sauce until thickened.
Remove racks from oven and set aside to rest for 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle Poire Williams sauce over the top and serve.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pears in a roasting pan skin side down and roast for 20 minutes or until well softened. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Scoop the flesh out of the skin and place in a food processor with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and allspice and purée. Transfer the purée to a medium saucepan and add the pear nectar. Simmer uncovered over medium heat until the purée thickens -- about 30 minutes. Most of the moisture should have evaporated -- it should be thicker than normal apple butter. Remove from heat and let cool. Discard the cinnamon sticks, cover, and refrigerate. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Wild rice with mushrooms, roasted fennel, polenta.