Last year was my first year cooking venison (thanks to Wesley), and I couldn’t be more pleased. We had a delicious crock pot chili (with all the veggies, it was probably more of a stew than chili) and some fantastic venison, lamb and pork sausage. I’m starting to wonder if I really had deer meat, because I have not experienced any of the gaminess or toughness that makes some people cringe when you just mention eating deer. As a matter of fact, the tenderloin pictured here was almost melt-in-your-mouth tender.
While searching for recipes, many had sugar and other non-Paleo ingredients. But the one I settled on was perfectly Paleo. My version is very similar to the original one other than the fact that our meat was from a White-tail, not a Red Deer. I imagine there’s not much difference in taste, but that the loin of a Red Deer is much larger than that of a White-tail. Here’s my version:
Marinated Loin of Deer
1 lb. loin
4 cloves garlic, minced (The original called for 1, but I like garlic.)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Dijon-style mustard
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. black pepper
In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients, excluding the loin, and mix well.
Place the loin in a baking dish, and pour on the marinade. Rotate the loin, making sure it is coated. “Cover dish with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.” I went with overnight.
“Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To achieve an attractive, brown crust and to seal in the juices, sear or brown the meat over high heat for 3-4 minutes before roasting.” I had some lamb fat, so I melted a spoon full in the cast-iron skillet, and browned the loin in that.
I almost got it too brown.
“As soon as it is browned, place the loin in the oven at 450 for 8 minutes. Take loin out of oven and cover for 10 minutes.” I set my timer and made sure that I did not cook the loin any longer (something I have done with meat more than once). It will be rare, but in my research about how to cook deer tenderloins or roasts, most agree that overcooking is the biggest mistake.
“Cut into thin slices and arrange on serving platter.”
But not when it is this good.