Grilled Venison Loin with Horseradish Cream
January 27, 2015 · by Virginia Archer · in Food, Wild Palate
As the end of Louisiana’s deer season approaches, most of us have freezers at home full of game from the field. Now the challenge is figuring out what to do with all that venison. There’s a lot of interesting options, but sometimes it’s nice to go with a simple grilled preparation like this recipe from Jesse Griffiths. Griffiths is a chef in Austin, TX, where he runs Dai Du and shares with fans the joys of hunting and cooking in the field.
According to Jesse Griffiths’ plan for deer, the loin, or “backstrap,” is reserved for cooking whole, and tougher leg muscles are for pounding into cutlets. Here, the loin, the most tender part of the deer, is cooked rare to medium rare, preferably over a hot, smoky grill. Acidic crème fraîche or sour cream cuts the richness of the venison, and the horseradish adds quick heat.
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds venison loin, trimmed of all silverskin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs: thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, and/or parsley
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons or more freshly grated or prepared horseradish
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives or parsley
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Serves 4
- Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons herbs with the olive oil and spread all over the meat. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight, refrigerated.
- Make a hot, even fire in a charcoal grill, or set a gas grill on high heat.
- Grill the meat on one side without moving it until nicely browned, 4 to 5 minutes, then rotate 90 degrees to make grill marks and to char more surface area. Flip the loin, cooking 4 to 5 minutes more. Aim for a good, deeply browned char on the outside but leaving the meat still nice and rare on the inside. Transfer to a warm plate and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce.
- For the horseradish sauce, mix the creme fraiche, horseradish, chives, lemon juice, and zest together in a small bowl, and season with salt. Serve the loin, thinly sliced against the grain, with the horseradish cream, mashed potatoes, and a simple salad or green beans.
Check out more of his recipes in his cookbook, Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish.
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