By: Michael Vialpando
Venison has long been a protein with somewhat of a bad wrap in certain circles. “It’s too gamey, or dry, or tough” , “it tastes like sage”, sadly this is the impression most have of it. Typically I attribute it to improper field care, or a crazy uncle Tim who got carried away with a steak on the grill. Cooked properly, it is the best meat on the planet, moist, tender, flavorful, and better than any cut of beef. If we are to preserve the future of conservation and bring new generations of hunters afield, they ought to have a good taste in their mouth when it comes to wild game. So whether you are trying to convince someone of the delicacy that is venison or you are trying to score some brownie points with the Mrs. for next hunting season, this recipe is sure to please.
This loin is accompanied by the sweet taste of leeks and onions. Also the bright taste of parsnips, and a touch of crunch from some super easy chips.
- Venison loin/tenderloin 16 oz
- 2 leeks
- 2 parsnips
- 3 Small red potatoes
- 4 boiler onions
- 3 T balsamic Vinegar
- 3 T butter (divided)
- 2 T half and half
- Olive oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Sprigs of thyme, or 1 tsp dried
Season the loin with 1/2 t of salt, and 1/2 t of pepper. Place in a zipper bag, or vacuum bag with the olive oil, 1 T of butter, thyme, and garlic (crushed). Place in sous vide bath set at 126* F, and set timer for 1.5 hrs. (This recipe is cooked sous vide, but could be adapted to cook in an oven or a hot pan.)
Prepare onions, leeks, and parsnips. Peel and rough chop the parsnips and place in a pot of boiling water to cook until tender. Peel the onions, and cut the leeks into small sections, oil and season the leeks and onions in salt and pepper. Place the leeks and onions on a cookie sheet, bake at 425* for 25 min or until golden.
Cut potatoes thin, and uniformly. Have fryer or pot with oil heated to 350*, slowly add the potatoes being sure they are not sticking to each other and cook until golden. Immediately season with salt once removed from fryer.
When the parsnips are cook thoroughly and soft, drain and add to blender or mixer. Add 1 T butter, half and half, and 1/2 t of salt, and blend/puree until smooth.
Pull the loin from the bath at 1.5 hours. Remove the meat from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat a cast iron to med/high heat for searing the meat. Pour the drippings from the bag into a small sauce pan on medium heat, reduce, then add balsamic vinegar. Save to drizzle on plate.
Place 1 T of butter and 3 T of olive oil into heated cast iron skillet. All that is needed is a nice crust on the outside of the meat. Place meat into skillet and sear, rotating sides after about 1 min each. Place meat to rest for at least 5-7 minutes after searing.
Plating is where you can get a little artistic. I am a believer in eating with my eyes as well as stomach. So when I am making something that I know tastes like a million bucks, it better look like it. Parsnip puree for base, then place the rested loin cuts atop it. Strategically place the caramelized onions, leeks and chips around the masterpiece and drizzle the drippings over it. Sprinkle a little coarse salt around and showoff this to your friends, or surprise your significant other with a fancy dinner date. A super gourmet meal made from that old bruiser buck on the wall.