The majority of my family are big meat eaters, and my dad especially takes great pride in cooking up a roast every Sunday, no matter what the season. It's usually chicken or beef, but every now and again he pushes the boat out with something more unique like duck or pork.
Venison isn't something we often have, in fact, I am struggling to think of a time I've eaten it outside of a restaurant. It's a beautifully rich meat, full of flavor, which is me what you need as the Sunday roast centerpiece.
I know my dad will love trying out some of these recipes and will confine himself to the kitchen to make sure they're perfect. These venison tenderloin dishes look simple to make. Usually I would feel intimidated by meat I haven't cooked before, but this time I will certainly give these a go.
1. Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin with Garlic Cream Sauce
Of course, I had to start off with something wrapped in bacon. I doubt my household is the only one in which bacon disappears before it's even in the refrigerator, and whenever I prepare a meat dish wrapped in bacon the plates will be cleared entirely.
This Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin with Garlic Cream Sauce looks spectacular, and if it were on a restaurant menu, I would order it without a second look. Bacon will add a sweet saltiness which will be mellowed out by that cool, creamy sauce, ensuring that the dish as a whole isn't overwhelmingly rich.
2. Venison Medallions with Gin and Juniper
My mom loves a good gin and tonic so I can imagine this going down exceptionally well in her books.
According to the recipe, these Venison Medallions with Gin and Juniper are a modernized version of a classic Belgian recipe, and it looks simply scrumptious. Don't be put off by the addition of gin, as it's strong alcoholic taste will mellow out during cooking and become a beautiful base flavor.
I love that there aren't too many ingredients in this dish, it has a very ‘less is more' feel about it. There are a couple of herbs which go perfectly together like rosemary and juniper. Otherwise, the delicious venison flavor is the star of the show.
3. Venison Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce
Venison Tenderloin is one of those recipes which both looks and sounds impressive but isn't at all difficult to make yourself. All you have to do is mix up a quick marinade, let the meat sit in it to gather up as much flavor as possible, quickly cook the meat then make the fruity sauce.
In the same way that red wine goes well with rich red meats, the blackberry sauce in this recipe will compliment the venison perfectly, adding a slight sweet sharpness. I'd probably keep it simple with mashed potatoes and boiled greens accompanying this Venison Tenderloin with Blackberry Sauce, ensuring that fancy side dishes don't mask the flavor of the meat.
4. Char-Grilled Venison Tenderloin with Smoky Chipotle Rub
You can tell just by looking at this recipe for Char-Grilled Venison Tenderloin with Smoky Chipotle Rub, that the outcome will be the most spectacularly tender and flavorful meat you've ever tasted.
As well as the smoky, spicy chipotle rub, this recipe includes a three-herb chimichurri which will add a whole new flavor element. You need the splash of green, herby sauce to freshen up the dish and balance out the richness of the meat. By serving this with a salad or some fresh vegetables it could be enjoyed as a smaller meal, or you could add extras like potatoes to make it a more substantial meal.
5. Roast Venison
This recipe for Roast Venison will be getting passed straight to my dad. Hopefully, he will get the hint that I fancy venison for our next family Sunday roast.
Even though it may take a little more time than popping your chicken and veg in the oven to roast, the extra steps involved in making this roast dinner would be entirely worth it. The sauce sounds luxurious with Barolo and dark chocolate, creating a perfect partner for the rich red meat. The venison itself is wrapped in prosciutto, a more sophisticated alternative to bacon, and because it's thin, it will add just the right amount of flavor to the meat.
6. Venison Tenderloin with a Balsamic Reduction
A balsamic reduction always goes well with red meat, in fact, it is one of the first things I thought of when considering what venison dishes I would like to try out. It balances sweet and tangy flavors while still allowing the flavor of the meat itself to come through.
This Venison Tenderloin with a Balsamic Reduction is a simple recipe but will undoubtedly deliver on the flavor front. If you haven't experimented much with venison before, like me, this could be a great place to start. Because the meat is best served rare to medium it doesn't take long to cook, so if you had your side dishes prepped in advance you wouldn't need to spend long slaving over a hot stove.
7. Spice Rubbed Venison Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce
The venison in this recipe is coated with various delicious spices, from thyme to black pepper. It's cooked rare which is exactly how I like it as it's beautifully tender and slices like butter, but if you'd instead prepare it for longer, you could easily do so.
As previously mentioned, it's always recommended to have red wine with richer meats, so this Spice Rubbed Venison Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce is bound to be spectacular. The red wine sauce is flavored with chicken stock and shallots, which will give it extra depth and thickness, and I think this dish would be delicious served atop a mountain of fluffy mashed potato.
8. Sweet and Savory Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin
Mixing sweet and savory flavors is something I am getting into a lot more recently; I love how much you can elevate a dish by playing around with different tastes.
Because the meat is wrapped in bacon after being marinated, all those delicious flavors will stay tightly packed into the meat, and it will undoubtedly be incredibly succulent. This Sweet and Savory Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin gets its sweetness from brown sugar which always adds a slightly caramelized flavor, contrasting beautifully with the salty soy sauce and spicy mustard.
9. Grilled Venison Tenderloin
As well as being the go-to man for the Sunday roast, my dad is also chief in charge of the barbeque in our family. Whether it's blazingly hot or there's a sudden downpour, you can bet my dad will be out there with his top of the range tools whipping up the best BBQ for us.
This Grilled Venison Tenderloin is possibly one of the most straightforward venison recipes out there, as you merely need to grill the meat. The addition of BBQ sauce is optional, although I wouldn't think to omit it. It would give the meat that little bit of extra sweetness, and I reckon if you sliced this up it would make delicious burger alternatives for a summer BBQ.
10. Venison Wellington
Beef Wellington is a British classic, and this Venison Wellington is a similar idea but with a couple of tweaks. I love taking classic recipes and making them unique, whether I do that by following a recipe or being creative in the kitchen myself.
In the centre of the dish is a thick, succulent tenderloin, that is then wrapped in salty prosciutto and an earthy mushroom mixture before being encased in flakey, melt in the mouth pastry. It looks more impressive than it is difficult to make, meaning it's a great go-to for a dinner party. A forkful of this would be truly spectacular and multi-dimensional on the flavor front.
11. Venison Carpaccio
I wanted to be sure to add a couple of more unique dishes, both so I can try them out myself and demonstrate just how versatile venison can be. As soon as I found this recipe for Venison Carpaccio I knew it had to be included for both reasons.
It can be difficult to find light dishes using richer game meat like venison, but I think this recipe achieves that perfectly. The addition of orange and horseradish will freshen it up, making it perfect for the upcoming summer. I can imagine having this as part of a bigger spread at a lunch or dinner party along with fresh salads and drinks.
I can see our roast dinners becoming far more varied in the future, as well as venison incorporated into my weekly meal plans. I have always thought of it as slightly more fancy meat when in fact there are many recipes I would happily make on a regular weeknight, which wouldn't take me any longer than most other meat dishes.
The Chargrilled Venison Tenderloin with Smoky Chipotle Rub looks divine, and I can see everyone from kids to adults loving it. I'm confident I'll be trying one of the recipes which have the venison wrapped in bacon as they're always crowd pleasers.
Is venison a meat you cook often? Which of these recipes are you excited to try?