James Bond Food venison with smitane sauce

Venison with smitane sauce

From a hotel in Munich during the events of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1963), Tracy di Vincenzo calls James Bond ahead of their nuptials and mentions her wonderful evening meal of crayfish tails in a cream and dill sauce, followed by saddle of roebuck with a smitane sauce (Rehrücken mit Sahne). James Bond must have felt quite envious; he’d had to make do with some disappointing ham and mustard sandwiches.   

For the recipe below, I’ve used frying steaks for convenience, but if you use saddle of venison (roebuck if you can get it), which requires roasting or braising, put a tablespoon or two of the juices from the roasting pan into the frying pan and fry the shallots in this. The recipe for the sauce is based on one by Craig Claiborne, which was originally published in the New York Times in 1966. 

Serves two

  • c 150g venison frying steak
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the sauce

  • 1-2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 50ml dry white wine
  • 75ml soured cream
  • 25ml double cream
  • 15g (c 1 tbsp) butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of black pepper

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Place the steaks in the pan and, over a medium heat, fry the steaks for 4-6 minutes (or 6-8 minutes for well done), turning them over regularly. Keeping the pan on the heat, transfer the steaks to a plate and allow them to rest for 5 minutes.

As the steaks are resting, put the shallots in the frying pan. Fry them for about a minute, then pour in the wine and add the pepper. Allow the wine to bubble away until it has reduced by half, then stir in the soured cream and double cream. Add the butter and stir again. When the sauce starts to bubble, add the lemon juice, stir, and take the pan off the heat. Strain the sauce into a bowl.

Plate up the steaks, perhaps slicing them in half for presentation and pour the sauce over the pieces.      

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