Ask anyone who has had it, and elk tenderloin is usually among their favorite meals. Grilling venison like elk or deer isn't hard, but you do need to do it right.
Cooking elk, or any venison, isn't hard but it is a little bit different that some other proteins. You need to be sure not to rush venison, and to not overcook it. All venison is incredibly lean. Far leaner than the leanest beef you can find in a store. That means when cooking venison, what fat is there, is rendered out quickly. Without fat to baste the meat from the inside out, it begins to dry out and overcook very quickly.
There's nothing more depressing than a beautiful elk or whitetail backstrap turned into shoe leather because of negligent cookery.
We have a bonus recipe this month, as John shows us his method of making mushrooms to pair with the tenderloin. If there's something better to go along with venison than the deep, rich, earthy flavor of properly prepared mushrooms, we don't know what it would be. John's recipe, like all the others, is simple but incredibly flavorful.
It doesn't matter if your venison is elk or deer, we're officially at the time of year you should hopefully have some fresh on hand. If you aren't already cooking it like this, give it a try!
What you need:
Venison Tenderloin (preferably elk)
Fresh ground black pepper
Bacon grease (for the pan)
Mushrooms (cremini, button, shitake, portabello)
1/2 stick butter
Veal demi-glace or stock
Wine (your favorite)