Chocolatey and thick, shimmering with fat and funk, balsamic-blue cheese sauce is one of my secret sauces for venison and game meat. I learned the recipe working under chef William Salvadore from Milan, and it was love at first spoonful.
There's lot of sauces people love using with deer meat and game. Cumberland sauce and pan sauces made with things like red wine vinegar, soy sauce and dijon mustard are all good. But, this is the grand daddy of them all, at least for me.
How it's Made
To make it, we would carve large block off a whole wheel of expensive Roquefort cheese, cook it down in garden variety balsamic vinegar and dried thyme until the mixture got syrupy and the cheese had melted, then refresh it by adding a bunch of heavy cream, and, viola, it's a sauce.
At the restaurant, the balsamic blue sauce was served all over the place, typically with grilled meat like beef or pork, but it's good with poultry and vegetables too.
It's one of those flavor combinations that is so strong and punchy that it could be a cliché if used too often, which is why I don't bring it out that much, but when I do it's a jaw-dropper and conversation piece. After serving, you'll hear groans and carnal sounds from the table.
Pick the right cheese
The type of cheese you choose will have a big effect on the flavor. This is the place to use a nice, rich blue cheese, gorgonzola or Roquefort. Generally speaking, the more expensive it is, the better, and richer the sauce will be.
How to serve
The sauce is great spooned on just about anything. Typically I use it to garnish venison steak tips, as well pork and poultry like pheasant. At the restaurant, we'd sometimes serve it with black pepper steak, or steak au poivre.
It's very rich, so I usually serve it in small amounts but it can work with a steak and mashed potatoes too. Just make sure to serve it with something light on the side, like a green salad.
Balsamic Blue Cheese Sauce for Venison
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 Cast iron skillet for searing the meat, optional
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 oz good blue cheese
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- In a small 1 quart sauce pot, heat the balsamic vinegar, thyme and the cheese, cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.
- Add the cream, bring to a simmer and reduce for a few minutes more until thickened to your liking, then serve.
- The sauce hold well and can be made ahead of time. Kept in the fridge, it will keep for a week, and probably longer since it contains vinegar.
- It is excellent with steak and pork.