Venison Steaks with Cranberry Sauce

Venison is leaner than other red meat and is cooked rare to retain its own distinctive flavor.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2/3 cup chopped shallots (about 6) or white part of green onions

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries, picked over

1/2 cup sugar

4 strips (2 x 1/2-inch each) orange rind

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

3 whole cloves

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 (6 to 7 ounces each) boneless venison steaks from leg

Heat butter in large skillet over low heat. Add shallot and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add vinegar; cook until evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add cranberries, sugar, orange rind, vanilla bean and cloves. Increase heat to medium; cook until sugar melts and berries begin to pop, about 5 minutes.

Ad chicken broth; simmer gently for 10 minutes. Strain through fine-meshed sieve over bowl., pushing on solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard solids.

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add venison; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until browned on outside and cooked to rare. Remove venison to serving plates; keep warm. Pour off fat from skillet. Add sauce; cook 2 minutes over high heat. Pour sauce over venison. Serve.

Makes 4 servings.