Chef Raymond Liegl

It is as difficult to talk a French-trained chef out of a recipe, as it is a grouse hunter out of disclosing his favorite covert.  This was my first real exposure to cooking at the highest levels, as I watched Chef Liegl take a nearly inedible mule deer, flavored by the sage grouse plains of Colorado, to the height of haute cuisine.  The secret lies in Coca Cola and juniper berries, where the grouse marinated for three days.

Serves 2


  • 2 venison steaks, cut from the loin or the haunch


Marinade venison in the refrigerator for 1-3 days submerged in Coca-Cola with a dozen juniper berries.


Remove the steaks from the marinade.  Pat dry.  Season with French sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add a dash of olive oil and Worchester sauce to both sides, reasoning, and perhaps adding a bit of crushed garlic to each side.


1.     Heat a griddle pan, a frying pan or grill.

2.     Brush the steaks lightly on each side with olive oil.

3.     Season with coarsely ground black pepper and French sea salt.

4.     Once the pan or grill is nice and hot, place the steaks in the pan and sear for 3-4 minutes on either side or longer according to your personal preference. You may need to turn the heat down a little to avoid over-charring the exterior of the steaks.

5.     Once the venison steaks have seared, grind a little coarse sea salt over them.

6.     Leave the steaks to stand for a few minutes while you make the sauce.

For the Béarnaise sauce: 

  • 110g/4oz butter
  • 1 egg yolks
  •  1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp tarragon, roughly chopped
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

1.     Melt the butter in a small pan.

2.     Place the egg yolks in a blender of a mini food processor together with the white wine vinegar, shallots and tarragon.

3.     Give the mix a quick whiz until you have a fairly smooth puree.

4.     Add the melted butter slowly to the food processor and then blitz until the sauce becomes thick and creamy.

5.     I usually like to add a pinch of cayenne pepper, or use coarse ground black pepper, or both.

6.     Pour the sauce over.

7.  Boil the chpd shallot and tarragon in the vinegar until most of the liquid evaporates.  Then add to the sauce mix.  The pan demi-glaze should be added to the Bernaise for color and additional flavor.