- 2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 10 juniper berries, crushed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1 3-pound boneless leg of venison, trimmed and tied into a roast
- 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup cranberry-juice cocktail
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pinch of sugar, or to taste
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, juniper berries, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place venison in a shallow nonreactive dish just large enough to hold the roast. Pour cooled marinade over venison and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 2 to 4 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Remove the venison from marinade and pat dry, reserving marinade. Rub venison with remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Sear the venison, turning with tongs, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes.
Transfer venison to a small metal roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast registers 125°F for medium-rare, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain the reserved marinade into a medium saucepan. Add stock (or broth), cranberry juice, dried cranberries and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until gravy is reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl; slowly whisk into the simmering gravy until slightly thickened. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Keep warm.
Remove strings from venison and carve into thin slices. Serve with the gravy.