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Jan 10, 2005 10:09 AM

Venison backstrap (mignon)

  • l

I have a 1-lb venison backstrap (sort of like a filet mignon) marinating in olive oil and herbs (thyme, bay, juniper berries, allspice, pepper, salt), planning to cook it tonight.

I don't know whether to roast it whole or cut it into thick medallions and sear them on cast iron. Does anyone have any experience or recs for this, or perhaps another method? Any thoughts on barding with bacon? I think the meat will be pretty tender.

Planning to serve with celeriac-potato puree, sauteed red cabbage and apples, and a sauce with veal demi-glace, wine, and shallots.

TIA for feedback!

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  1. I've done it both ways. I have given it a light herb crust and roasted it (like a lamb loin). I have also cut medallions and sauteed in butter. I prefer the former and my husband the latter. If you roast it, be sure to use a goes from bloody to overdone pretty quickly, and overdone venison is even less fun than overdone beef.

    Your accompaniments sound delicious!

    1. I'd go for the medallions myself, easier to get the venison to the proper level of doneness without over cooking. Good luck!

      1. We sear in a cast iron pan and then pop in oven to finish. Excellent but use a probe.

        If the backstrap portion is already pretty tender I would be careful not to over-marinate. It can turn mushy.

        We also find a cooked red wine marinade works much better than a raw red wine marinade.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JudiAU

          Think I'll do it this way. I didn't put any acid (wine, lemon, or vinegar) in the marinade, just oil and herbs, so I don't think the meat will break down. Also, no garlic. I want the sauce to come through.

          Thinking 6-7 minutes in a 400 oven to finish? Internal meat temp to 125 or so?


          1. re: JudiAU

            I lightly floured and seared the medallions for about two minutes each side in olive oil and finished in a 400 oven for 6 mins, and they came out very tender and medium rare. Made a sauce Bordelaise with shallots, red wine, butter, demi-glace, and reconstituted porcini mushrooms. Definitely will do this again.