Emu Medallions with Gin Sauce
Meat Dish

Cooking time: About 25 minutes Prep time: About 20 minutes

Notes: Up to I day ahead, prepare juniper-peppercorn paste and pound meat, then cover and chill. Overcooking makes emu tough.

Makes: 4 servings

2 tablespoons green peppercorns

1 tablespoon dried juniper berries

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon salad oil

About 1 ¾ pounds emu tablespoon butter or margarine

1 ½ cup each beef broth and port

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon gin

1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch mixed smooth with I tablespoon water

Chive spears and salt

1. Juniper-peppercorn paste. Combine peppercorns, juniper berries, and 1/2 cup water in a 1- to 1 ½ -quart pan. Bring to a boil over high heat; simmer 5 minutes. Drain mixture in a fine strainer. Combine seasonings with garlic and oil in a blender or food processor; whirl until a smooth paste.

2. Emu. Trim off and discard silvery mem­brane on emu. Cut meat, across the grain as much as possible, into ½ - inch-thick slices; then cut them into 12 to 14 equal portions.

3. Gently pound meat with a flat mallet between sheets of plastic wrap until slices are about ¼ inch thick. Rub slices evenly on both sides with juniper-peppercorn paste.

4. In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over high heat, melt ½ the butter until it siz­zles. Fill pan with meat; do not overlap slices. Turn slices as they brown; cook just until pink in center (cut to test), about 1 ½ minutes total. As slices are cooked, keep warm in a rimmed pan in a 3000 oven. Melt remaining butter in pan, add meat, and con­tinue until all slices are cooked.

5. When frying pan is empty, leave on high heat and quickly add broth, port, shallots, and gin. Boil until reduced to ½ cup, about 4 minutes. As sauce cooks, drain juices from cooked emu into it. Stir cornstarch mixture into sauce; stir until boiling. Arrange emu on plates, and pour sauce onto meat. Garnish with chives, and season to taste with salt.

Per serving: 347 cal., 25% (88 cal.) from fat; 47 g protein; 9.8 g fat (3.4 g sat.); 8.2 g carbo.; 177 mg sodium; 122 mg chol.

By Christine Weber Hale