This week on Wild Wednesdays, we're cooking a look at the most tender cut of deer meat available: the tenderloin. Like pork tenderloin and beef tenderloin (better known as filet mignon), venison tenderloin is a juicy, tender cut that's well worth the bit of extra effort it takes to remove when cleaning the animal yourself.
Lately Brent and I have been doing some "spring cleaning" of our fridge and pantry, which has definitely been trimming our grocery bill and our waistlines! To the best of our ability we're cooking with only what we have on hand, which can make for more interesting meals than we usually have, including the combination of stuffed venison tenderloin, smashed red potatoes, and canned hominy. We had several tenderloins in the freezer from this past deer season, and we were ready to try something a little different with them. This meal turned out delicious, healthy, and inexpensive!
2 Venison tenderloins
Approx 2 oz Jalapeno Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (could substitute whatever cheese you have on hand)
Approx 6 oz fresh spinach leaves
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1. Marinate tenderloins for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chopped garlic for 1 minute, then add spinach and cook until just wilted.
4. Cut each tenderloin vertically down the middle, slicing almost - but not quite - through to the other side.
5. Divide spinach mixture and sliced cheese between each tenderloin, stuffing the spinach and cheese into each cut. Hold halves together and secure with toothpicks.
6. Add a generous amount of breadcrumbs to a shallow pan or pie plate. Dredge each tenderloin in the breadcrumbs until well-coated on all sides.
6. Heat more olive oil in another large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the tenderloins to the skillet and pan-sear until golden brown on each side.
7. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and place tenderloins in dish. Bake until desired degree of doneness (probably 20-25 minutes).
8. Enjoy! If you want to get really creative, there are all sorts of pan sauces you can serve with the meat. Personally, I deglazed the cast-iron skillet I used to sear the tenderloins with some Sierra Nevada beer, added half a cube of beef bouillon, and thickened with a flour and water slurry. Yum!