How to make a delicious and exotic elk tenderloin lickety split.
I like to call this “fast slow food.” The Slow Food movement would approve, as would busy parents, professionals, or the like. This came about on one of those nights, in the middle of one of those weeks. Me and El Gallo wanted beers but didn’t want to fall into the trap where you go get beers and then the beers convince you to eat something unhealthy. Those pesky beers are a bad influence more often than not! We also didn’t want to cook anything time-consuming.
We had some elk tenderloin from a prior season that we needed to eat. I thought hey – if I get that all ready for us then the thought of dinner nearly ready at home will dissuade me from the thought of post-beer ingested pizza! It totally worked. We let the tenderloin sit while we went to the pub. When we got home we had a healthy meal in no time!
The spice blend I have on this recipe is really just a suggestion. You can use just about any blend of spices you like or have a hankering for. You can even use a pre-made spice blend. Just mix it into a paste with olive oil, slather it on your tenderloin, and let it sit for a few minutes. It’s generally suggested to let red meat come to room temperature anyway before you cook it. This way, it can soak up some spice in the process. Then give the meat a simple pan sear and finish it in the oven to your desired doneness and you have a delicious, restaurant-worthy tenderloin for dinner. I believe we threw together a quick salad or some such thing.
Spiced Venison Tenderloin with Cilantro Mint Sauce
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||14 minutes|
|Total time||44 minutes|
|From book||The Feed Zone Cookbook|
- 1 venison tenderloin (about 1-2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1-2 teaspoon cardamom (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1 packet fresh mint (or a scan 1/4 cup plucked from stems)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons citrus juice (I used orange, lemon or lime will also do)
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (give or take)
- salt and pepper to taste
|Combine all spices for the rub. Coat the tenderloin and let sit until at room temperature (about 30 minutes to an hour). Meanwhile, combine all your ingredients for the green sauce in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Sauce should be a somewhat runny consistency, so add more citrus juice if it's too thick.|
|Heat a pan on medium and spray with pan spray. Cook the tenderloin on one side, then flip and continue to cook to your desired doneness. (Medium rare is about 7 minutes per side for a tenderloin that is about 1 to 1.5 inches thick). Slice and serve with the green sauce drizzled over it.|
Non-game substitution: Use beef or even pork tenderloin. Just make sure to cook the pork all the way through.