Venison Tenderloin with Creamy Mustard Sauce
My daughter went hunting for the very first time this year. I learned to hunt when I was about her age and remember sighting deer with my dad, though I never really took to it. I preferred to help cut the meat into its proper pieces and wrap it for the freezer. My daughters have already had exposure to this process as well and this time around, my middle daughter was able to simply observe the hunt as we obviously want to play it safe her first time out. Next time she hunts, she will have had more formal safety training as well as practice so we may let her carry a rifle as well if she’s proven responsible. This time around, she watched from her two-person deer stand alongside her dad (and uncles) enjoying daddy-daughter time in the woods on a chilly fall weekend. The lessons she learned were of how to hunt safely, acquiring the skills for survival (should it ever be necessary), why we hunt, and just as important: observing the time-old link to our food as omnivores. It’s so important to me to have that relationship of where our food comes from.
I believe we should know (or at least do the best we can to know) where our food comes from and the environment in which it was raised. I believe this is equally important for both meat and plants. So many disregard the environment of plants and the way our grains and vegetables are grown and the the soil it comes from. The mono or multi culture it’s grown in makes a significant difference in its nutritional value as well as its environmental impact. This is equally as important as knowing our meat sources. In this case, our deer was hunted from a local forest, allowed to live a free and happy life, consuming a rich diet of plants making his meat a desirable and nutritionally worthy meal for us as well. THIS is what farm (or field) to table eating truly looks like. It’s also important to me to give thanks to the animal for providing for us. So thank you, deer, for providing the venison, tender and tasty, to be made into this delectable venison tenderloin with creamy mustard sauce.
Venison tenderloin with creamy mustard sauce starts with the best, most tender morsels. Usually this is the tenderloin, but chops or even steaks will work in a pinch. Lean meats, like venison, benefit from a marinade so in this case, I’ve marinated the tenderloin overnight in the same yogurt sauce that gets drizzled over top. Cook these fellas on a grill or cast iron grill pan if you want the pretty grill marks. Otherwise, a nice saute in a fry pan works just as well. I’ve served these alongside a woodsy mushroom wild rice with kale and toasted pecans. Let me tell you, the toasted pecans steal the show. Sprinkle these toasted morsels of nutty wonder over top your finished tenderloin and into the rice. If the yogurt sauce happens to migrate into your rice, don’t worry, you will be one VERY happy hunter.
- 1 pound venison tenderloin, chops, or steaks (you can use beef tenderloin or any other lean meat too)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup beef broth
- ¼ cup stone ground mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- MUSHROOM KALE WILD RICE:
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 ½ cups beef broth
- 8 oz mushrooms, diced
- 2-3 stems kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- Combine the yogurt, ½ cup beef broth and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. Reserve ½ cup of this yogurt-mustard sauce and set aside to be used as a topping. Pour the remaining yogurt-mustard sauce over the venison and let marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 24.
- Make the wild rice: combine wild rice and beef broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn rice down to a simmer. Cover and simmer 55-60 minutes.
- In a sauté pan, toss mushrooms and kale with a small amount of olive oil and cook until the mushrooms have reduced and browned.
- Add sautéed mushroom and kale to the rice and continue cooking rice until rice is done.
- In the same pan used to saute the mushrooms, toss in the pecans and toast on medium high until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
- Remove venison from marinade and shake off any extra liquid.In the same sauté pan used for the mushrooms and pecans, add a little more olive oil if needed and cook venison on medium low heat on all sides until desired doneness.
- Serve venison with the reserved yogurt-mustard sauce spooned on top and a generous helping of wild rice on the side.
- Sprinkle EVERYTHING with toasted pecans.