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Venison tenderloin, or deer tenderloin, makes an elegant main dish. The tenderloin is the premium cut and yields a rich, delicious recipe.
I grew up going hunting and fishing with my Daddy. From pond fishing in the afternoons to spending all day on the lake to quail and pheasant hunting, I always looked forward to getting to go with him. He’d tell me stories of going hunting or fishing in the mornings before school and then his Mama cooking and serving it for their supper that evening. It was his way of life and one that I loved learning more and more about. I never proved to be a great shot and, regrettably, my interests turned to other things as I got older and our trips became less frequent and then stopped altogether.
One thing that I continue to love and be intrigued by is the way of life my Daddy led as a little boy and the preparation of his reward from the hunt by my Grandmother.
If you do not have venison tenderloin available to you, or prefer not to use it, you can substitute beef tenderloin for the venison in this recipe. Beef does not generally have as rich of a flavor as venison but benefits from the treatment of salting as does the venison.
Here’s my Venison Tenderloin recipe. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Venison Tenderloin Recipe
- 1 pound Venison tenderloin
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper optional
- mushroom cream sauce
- Pat venison dry with paper towels. Place tenderloin onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle salt onto both sides of the tenderloin and cover with additional paper towels. Refrigerate for four hours to overnight.
- Remove from the refrigerator and allow to rest an hour before cooking. Add fresh black pepper, if desired.
- Preheat grill, smoker, or oven to 400º F while the venison is resting. Roast tenderloin until it reaches an internal temperature of 140º F.
- Remove and place on a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Cut into tenderloin medallions and serve with mushroom cream sauce, if desired.
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You have a slight error, the tenderloins are located inside the body cavity of the deers body next to the spine, but the back straps are located on the outside running parallel with the spine, and their true name is the “loins”
Thanks, Greg, for catching that. I have updated the post.
I have never cooked venison tenderloin before, but we were given a beautiful one. Do you find that the “salting” prior to cooking helps remove any “gaminess” (not sure how to say that) or wild flavor the meat might have? Thank you.
Emily, the salt helps to tenderize the meat but can also help to remove some of the gamy taste. When I use this recipe, I haven’t noticed a gamy flavor to the venison.