Venison Tenderloin w/Blackberry Sauce
Venison has always been one of my favorite wild game meats. More and more these hunted animals are popping up in local supermarkets around the U.S. And while the number of hunters has declined in the last few years, farmed game is growing in popularity. National organizations representing deer and elk farmers are reporting rapid growth and substantial economic impact of their industries, indicating consumer demand.
Following the trend of nose-to-tail eating in the last several years, game-heavy restaurants are popping up in urban areas (for example, Gentleman Farmer in New York and Sammy’s Wild Game Grill in Houston). In 2017 Arby’s restaurants even featured an elk/venison steak sandwich for one day in all 3300 stores nationally for the second time. For the home cook, wild and more exotic meats are available at suburban grocery stores through national distributors like D’Artagnan and Fossil Farms as local and regional distributors are expanding their footprint.
I absolutely love using fruit based savory sauces for game meats because they pair so well together. In my opinion sous vide cooking is the best way to prepare most game meats. These proteins are very lean and are easily overcooked so precision temperature cooking is the ideal way to do it. Feel free to use conventional methods to cook these venison tenderloins, but be careful because it is easy to ruin a great tasting steak, Enjoy!
Four 6oz venison tenderloins (backstrap)
1 sprig of thyme or rosemary, optional
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
Maldon salt flakes, for finishing
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh blackberries (frozen can be used)
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp beef base
1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
Preheat the sous vide bath to 125F (51.6C). Season the the venison generously with salt and pepper and vacuum seal 2 steaks per bag with the herbs. Place it into the water bath for 3 hours. While the venison is cooking start the sauce. In a heavy bottomed skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until they are soft and translucent 5-6 minutes, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the berries, balsamic, honey, beef base, water, bay leaf, thyme, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens and the berries start breaking down. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed then remove from the heat. Use tongs to pluck the cooked berries from the pan, place on a plate and set aside. Put the sauce through a strainer into a bowl; this removes excess seeds. Return the sauce to the pan along with the berries, cover and keep warm.
Remove the venison from the sous vide bath. Cut the bags open and place the tenderloins on paper towels and dry them well. You can discard the liquid in the bag or stir it into the berry sauce for an added flavor boost. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. Sear the venison steaks 1-2 minutes per side to brown and place on a plate and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Slice each steak, place on a plate and drizzle with the berry sauce. Garnish with cooked berries, flake salt and serve.
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Posted on October 20, 2018, in Wild Game and tagged blackberry, D'Artagnan, deer, elk, exotic food, foodie, Fossil Farms, fruit sauce, sous vide, venison, wild game, wild game meats. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.