This Garlic + Mushroom stuffed Venison is a really easy meal to make that hits the spot when your craving something rich and savory. I made this dish as sort of a celebratory meal because my husband just bagged our first deer of the season.
I made a commitment to myself a few years back to stop buying factory farmed meat at the grocery store unless I absolutely had to. Getting this buck takes the pressure off the never-ending burden to fill the freezer. I decided I needed to learn a bit more about butchering big game animals, so I processed the entire deer by myself. I am still no expert, but I really learned a lot about the animal and the way the muscles are put together because I chose to butcher it myself, not to mention having an even greater appreciation for my food!
For this Stuffed Venison recipe, I chose to use the long oval chunk of meat that is found inside the hind leg of the deer instead of the tenderloin. This is called the “eye of round”, but you could also use the tenderloins if you didn’t save this cut. The sirloin pieces in the hind leg of a deer can be surprisingly tender, but that will of course depend on the size and age. If you choose to process your own deer in the future, before deciding to chop it up into stew meat or grind any of that hind leg, please make sure to break it down and take some steaks out of it!
The serving size for the recipe below really depends on the size of your deer and the cut you chose, but the mushroom stuffing and sauce is enough for 4. If it is a small deer than you could use two pieces of the eye of round, one from each hind leg, to serve four.
This entire recipe can be made using one saute pan. You will first brown the mushrooms with the aromatics and then spoon it inside your butterflied venison. After it has been stuffed, you want to tie the roast with some kitchen twine. This will help to hold the ingredients together as well as to insure even cooking. If your venison is really thick, you can lightly pound it out with a meat mallet to thin it out which will make it easer to truss.
In the same pan used to cook the mushrooms, brown the venison on all sides and transfer the whole pan into the oven to finish cooking through. You want to be careful not to overcook this, I think its best served at medium rare. After it is cooked, remove the venison and let it rest. You can then make a simple pan sauce with stock, cognac and any remaining mushrooms that didn’t fit inside the venison.
- 1 - 2 lbs. Venison (2 Eye of Round Sirloins from each Hind Leg, or 1 TenderLoin, butterflied)
- 6 oz. Portabello Mushrooms, chopped into ¼" pieces
- 1 Shallot, chopped
- Several Sprigs of Thyme
- ¼ C. Cognac
- ½ C. Beef Stock
- Kitchen Twine
- Oil/Ghee for cooking (Use high smoke point fat)
- Smoked Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper for seasoning (Or Kosher Salt)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Butterfly the venison steaks, being careful not to cut all the way through. Open up the venison and season with salt and pepper on both sides. *If your meat is really thick, you can lightly pound it out with a meat mallet.
- Over medium high heat, saute the shallots in a little bit of oil. Add the mushrooms and sprigs of thyme and brown until softened, about 10 minutes. If the mushrooms seem to get too dry, add a splash of beef stock. Finally, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute or two. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.
- Stuff the venison with a few spoonfuls of mushrooms and wrap with kitchen twine to close. You will probably only use about half of the mushrooms. Reserve the rest for the pan sauce.
- Place the saute pan back on the stovetop over high heat. Add oil and brown the stuffed venison on all sides. Transfer directly to the oven ( in the same saute pan if it is ovenproof) and roast for 8 minutes for rare, 10 - 12 minutes for medium rare/medium. Don't overcook, aim to serve at medium rare.
- Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the venison to a cutting board to allow it to rest.
- Add the cognac to the hot pan and let the alcohol burn off. Add the beef stock, remaining mushrooms and thyme. Let this simmer until reduced to a flavorful sauce, about 10 minutes. You can add a tablespoon of ghee or butter and swirl in the pan for a glossy finish. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the venison with the mushroom sauce.