Roast Venison Tenderloin

Oh Culinary School, how I miss you. I remember you fondly; when I had only 4 hours of class each day and when I could wake up at 11 and have drinks at 5:30. All good things must go I suppose. I now work about 45 hours a week which is still about 20 hours too few in my opinion. 45 hours is a walk in the park. Wheres the challenge? Wheres the struggle?! The struggle was in the plate, in the ingredients, in the attention to detail.

This was a recipe I learned in school and only felt a little inclined to change it slightly, but it was a recipe I really enjoyed. It was complicated, challenging, time-consuming and required you run on all cylinders if you wanted it done and done well. Although, in the case of Venison, I’m a firm fan of Medium or Medium-Rare.

For a dish that will really blow someone away, cuts of Venison with bright Butternut Squash and earthy Mushrooms; Roast Venison will always be a home run for me. While this dish is most certainly more of a Fall-Seasonality, I think it is still very good through Winter. I always imagine this plate being served at a big family gathering, Christmas (except not mine because I’m Jewish and Chinese food is the only thing I eat that day), New Years, Thanksgiving (if you’re into non-traditional things). 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick cuts of the tenderloin make a beautiful presentation and if you season correctly will make an even more delicious meal. Something I really like about dry rubs for tenderloins, not limited to Venison, is that they are so customizable! To me, Venison scream Juniper so obviously I used Juniper, but you can use whatever you like. If you want a more Spanish flair, use Paprika and Cumin, if you want something more Greek use Oregano and Lemon Zest. For Chinese use a liberal coating of Chinese 5 Spice with coriander and nutmeg, and for Middle Eastern use a Syrian 7 Spice Blend with sumac and sesame powder. The squash can be substituted for any thick vegetable and most certainly any root vegetable. But for the time being, this is the most straightforward way to make Venison in a way that will wow anyone who tries it.

Roast Venison Tenderloin |  3-4 servings


  • 1 Venison Tenderloin, cut into 4″ long segments (or appx. 6 oz each)
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Dried Juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Shallot, minced
  • 8 oz Red Wine, Burgundy would be great here but any Red will do
  • 24 oz Brown Veal Stock, Beef Stock is an acceptable alternative
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • Butter, as needed
  • Canola, as needed
  1. Combine the rosemary, juniper and black pepper in a spice grinder and blend until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the sugar and salt. Pour out onto a plate and roll the venison in the mixture. Set aside.
  2. Heat enough Canola to just barely cover the bottom of the pan and add a knob of butter. Keep the heat on medium-high. When the butter is melted add the Venison and brown on all sides. Use a large spoon to base the oil-butter over the loins to bring to medium-rare and finish in the oven as necessary. Set aside to rest before slicing.
  3. Drain the excess fat from the pan and sweat the shallots.Deglaze with the wine and reduce until almost dry. Add the stock and reduce to a thick consistency. Finish the sauce by adding a knob of butter (don’t be afraid of adding too much, you almost never will)and season with salt to taste.


  • 1 bunch Maitake Mushrooms
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, skin on, smashed
  • 4 branches of thyme
  • 1 oz Soy Sauce
  • 1 oz Olive Oil
  1. Break apart the mushrooms into small clusters. Combine in a bowl with the ginger, garlic, thyme, soy sauce and olive oil. Mix well. Turn the mixture out onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast in 375* F oven until tender, 6-8 minutes.
  2. After cooking, discard the ginger, garlic, and thyme. Set the mushrooms aside and keep warm.

Pickled Butternut

  • 6 oz White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 oz Water
  • 1 oz Whole Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Curry powder
  • 1/4  tsp Turmeric
  • 4 oz Butternut Squash, small dice (1/4″ dice)
  1. Combine all ingredients except the squash in a sauce pot and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the squash and simmer until just tender. Transfer to a clean container to cool.
  2. Add the squash and simmer until just tender. Transfer to a  container to cool.

Butternut Pureé

  • 3 oz Butter
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 branches of Thyme
  • 1 lb Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
  • 8 oz Brown Veal Stock, Beef Stock is an acceptable alternative
  • 3 oz Heavy Cream
  1. Brown the butter in a pan. Add the garlic, thyme and squash sauté over low heat for 2 minutes. Add stock and simmer until nearly dry.
  2. Remove the thyme and transfer the cooked squash to a blender. Add the cream and process until smooth. Pour the puree into a small saucepot and hold over a low flame. Season to taste.

To Plate

Add a large spoon of the puree to the side of an oval plate. Using a 1″ wide paintbrush, apply some pressure to fan out the bristles and gently pushthe puree the opposite side of the plate in a swoosh shape. Follow the shape of the plate taking care to not creep onto the edges.

Slice the tenderloin into 1/2″-3/4″ thick and lay across the puree. Add some mushrooms between each piece.

Add some pickled butternut to the plate with the mustard seeds laid overtop.

Gently add some sauce making sure to not over sauce. If the sauce was done correctly, it should be a very strong flavor and not too much should be needed.

Final garnish can be any microgreens you may have


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