Using chocolate with game isn’t a new thing; it’s centuries old and a nugget or two of very bitter chocolate really does give a game sauce a piquant edge.
To make the sauce: gently cook the shallots in the butter for 2–3 minutes until soft. Add the flour and tomato purée and stir well. Gradually add the red wine, stirring well. Bring to the boil and reduce by two-thirds. Add the beef stock and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half and thickened, then strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a clean pan.
Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan. Season the fillets and sauté them for 2–3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness. They are best eaten medium rare as the meat is very delicate and tender.
Reheat the sauce and whisk in the chocolate bits until dissolved. Spoon the Tracklements Fruity Cumberland Sauce onto the centre of warmed plates, slice the deer into four or five pieces and arrange on the Fruity Cumberland Sauce.
For the sauce
2 shallots, peeled, halved and finely chopped
1 tsp flour
1/2tsp tomato purée
150ml red wine
350ml beef stock
60g good dark chocolate, broken into pieces
vegetable oil for frying
4 cleaned red or roe deer loin fillets or under-fillets weighing 120-150g each
Fruity Cumberland Sauce