Venison Tenderloin Recipes

The 6 Venison Tenderloin Recipes You Need to Try This Season


While there are an abundance of cuts of venison that can be prepared countless different ways, many hunters look forward most to their first tenderloin dish, as it's one of the most tender cuts of meat and offers arguably the best flavor. Tenderloin recipes are also especially popular during the holiday season, which often falls right after you harvest your first deer of the year. The perfect venison recipe varies with each household, but these six are sure to please any hunter with an appreciation for wild game, as well as anyone who enjoys a prime cut of meat, wild or domestic.

Which one sounds the best to you?

1. Venison Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce

This delicious, yet simple recipe perfectly highlights venison's subtle game notes with a twist of blackberry, which is widely regarded as a wonderful pairing with red meats.


  • 1 lb venison tenderloin or backstrap
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp blackberry jam
  • Salt/pepper


Start by making the marinade, which calls for mixing the wine and mustard. Then, give the venison an appropriate amount of salt and pepper before covering and marinating your cut with the mustard mix. Let it then sit in the refrigerator for at least six hours before removing the meat from the marinade.

Once your cut is ready to cook, heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) with two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. For the best flavor, brown the tenderloin over medium-high heat until it reaches a medium-rare doneness, which should take about five minutes on each side. Then, cover the tenderloin with tin foil; it will still be cooking.

Next, you'll want to deglaze the pan with chicken stock, reduce by half, and add the jam. Cook until the marinade thickens and serve over sliced venison.


Recipe adapted via Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

2. Venison Medallions with Whiskey, Mushroom & Horseradish Cream Sauce

This recipe had us at venison and whiskey, but it's the hearty, flavorful cream sauce that really sets this dish off. And, one of the greatest benefits of cream-based mushroom sauces is your ability to experiment with a wide variety of different fungi. However, perhaps our favorite approach here uses crimini mushrooms, which give any dish an extra punch of earthy flavor.


  • 1 lb venison tenderloin
  • Kosher/sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of whiskey
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of sour cream, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. of prepared horseradish, or to taste
  • 1 tbs. of chives, chopped
  • Milk, a few tablespoons



Start by seasoning the venison with salt and pepper, and chop one cup of mushrooms and half a cup of onions. Once you're ready to start cooking, you'll sauté the onions in a pan with two tablespoons of butter before adding mushrooms, and then you'll cook for another five minutes. Then turn your burner off and pour half a cup of whiskey into a pan and cook for about a minute until the alcohol evaporates. As soon as you're done with the whiskey, add about a half cup of beef broth and reduce by half. You should then reduce your head to low and whisk a half cup of sour cream and a teaspoon of horseradish, or to taste. Whisk in the milk and chopped chives, and add salt and pepper to taste. For the best flavor, grill your venison until medium-rare, but of course you can cook to your own preference. And finally, serve marinade over venison medallions and enjoy!

Recipe via: Food For Hunters

3. Belgian Venison Medallions

This age-old recipe calls on the unique flavor of juniper, which is known to pair especially well with wild game. And, while this recipe doesn't make any mention of accompanying sides, we highly recommend roasted fingerling potatoes with a splash of olive oil and a healthy does of fresh herbs and chopped garlic.


  • 1 pound venison backstrap or loin
  • 3 tablespoons lard or butter
  • Salt
  • Pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 shot of gin (not the good stuff)
  • 1/4 cup demi-glace or reduced beef or venison stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground juniper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche


Before you get too carried away, salt your venison and set it aside for 30-60 minutes. As your nearing the end of that wait time, you can get started by heating butter or lard and searing the venison for 3-5 minutes on each side for a medium-rare finish, but you can adjust for different levels of doneness. Next, add shallot and sauté and then turn the heat off and add gin. You'll cook the alcohol down with high heat and add crushed jumpier, rosemary, and demi-glace or beef/venison stock. Next, turn the heat off and whisk in the sour cream; you should be able to make a trail with the spoon for desired thickness. Serve over venison medallions and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Recipe via: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

4. Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin

What would this list be without something bacon-wrapped? This grilling recipe has a lot of room for interpretation and adaptation, but we still believe in the tried-and-true method of wrapping it in bacon and throwing that bad boy on the fire.



  • 1 lb venison tenderloin
  • 3/4 lb bacon
  • 1 cup sweet white wine
  • Meat seasoning blend of your choice (garlic, paprika, onion powder, cumin, thyme, salt, pepper is our go-to)
  • Cherry wood for smoking on grill


Marinate the venison in a cup of white wine. Season with your favorite herbs and spices. Wrap the venison in bacon strips and use toothpicks to keep the strips in place. Grill venison tenderloin until medium-rare, a minute on each side. Close grill and cook for additional 30-45 minutes over indirect heat. Internal temperature should read 145-160 degrees.

Serve and enjoy.


5. Char-Grilled Venison Tenderloin with Smoky Chipotle Rub and Three-Herb Chimichurri

Giving your game meat a subtle smokiness and pairing it with a bright, herbaceous sauce is a sure-fire way to impress your fellow deer hunters hunting for venison who have sliced, diced, and served up venison in every way imaginable.

Pull this one out on a cool night and watch as empty plates leave the table.


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Venison tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for sear)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil (for sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 very small onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups (packed) stemmed fresh parsley
  • 2 cups (packed) stemmed fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup (packed) stemmed fresh mint



Mix all the spices together. Coat the tenderloins in the mix. Grill on medium-high until medium-rare.

To make the chimichurri add the olive oil and red wine into a blender. Squeeze in some lemon and add garlic, quartered onions, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Blend until smooth and then add cilantro and a quarter of the mint. Puree and then keep adding the rest of the mint.

Serve over venison medallions and enjoy!

6. Maple Juniper Venison Loin with Chocolate Infused Red Wine Jus, Leek and Potato Mash

Chocolate and meat? We know, you think we're crazy, but listen up--this pairing could change your life.


You'll see a familiar face with the addition of juniper berries, but this dish relies heavily on the rich, velvety red wine jus. This culinary masterpiece is sure to please the most elevated of palates as well as any meat-and-potatoes good ol' boys.


  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) juniper berries
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 venison loin or beef tenderloin (about 2 lbs/1 kg)
  • Pinch each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chocolate Infused Red Wine Jus:

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light green part, thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) Meritage wine
  • 2 cups (500 mL) beef or venison stock
  • 3 oz (90 g) 90% dark bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar

Leek and Potato Puree:

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
  • 1 leek, white and light green part, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 1/4 lb (625 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) 35-percent whipping cream, heated


Leek and Potato Puree: Heat a tablespoon of butter and cook leeks for 10 minutes or until soft. Stir in parsley and salt. Bring potatoes and thyme to boil in a pot of water. Cook until tender for 20 minutes. Drain and mash potatoes. Add cream and rest of the butter until creamy. Add leek and parsley and stir.

Maple Juniper Beef Tenderloin: Combine maple syrup, juniper berries, thyme and garlic. Marinate tenderloins in mixture for half an hour. Season with salt and pepper and roast at 450 degrees oven for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature and roast for an hour. Slice and let rest. Internal temperature should be 145 degrees.

Chocolate Infused Red Wine Jus: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat and saute carrots, onion, leeks and bay leaves--until softened and brown. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add beef or venison stock and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan. Whisk in chocolate and rest of butter until smooth.


Serve venison medallions with sauce and potato puree.

Recipe via: Eat Live Travel Write

These recipes will really bring out the great taste of venison, and deserve a spot in your cookbook or regular recipe rotation. If it's someone's first time trying deer meat, they'll help ease them into it with smart preparation and cooking techniques.

Wild game meat is one of the greatest parts of being an outdoorsman, and cooking venison with methods like these is a no-brainer.



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