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Venison Backstrap with Cognac Mushroom Sauce Recipe

By Chris Capell

When it comes to game meat, venison medallions are pretty high up on the most-delicious list. It is a lean and tender cut from the back of a deer. With hardly any fat to protect it from the heat, it is best served at medium rare temperature. That means simple preparation and being super careful not to overcook.

Heavy long marinades are not needed, and may be a thing of the past once you try this venison backstrap recipe. We like to pan-sear this gourmet treat in a cast iron pan, although you can use any heavy bottomed pan. This versatile dish can be made in your kitchen using the stove top, or outdoors on the grill (we used a Big Green Egg®) to introduce a gentle smoke flavor to the meat.


Ingredients

Print Recipe
  • 1-2 lbs venison backstrap (loin) cut into medallions approximately 1” thick
  • 1 Tbsp (or enough to coat) Dizzy Pig Game On! game seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp oil for cooking

Cognac Mushroom Cream Sauce

  • 2 small onions, halved and sliced
  • 8 oz cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, or other small mushroom quartered
  • 1/4 cup cognac (can use bourbon instead)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions

Prepare medallions

  1. Season venison with an even coating of Game On! seasoning
  2. Place the seasoned medallions in the freezer for 15 minutes, especially if the medallions are cut thinner than 1”.  This helps to prevent overcooking

Caramelize onions

  1. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan over medium heat. If you’re using a cast iron pan, heat the pan first before adding the oil
  2. Once the oil is heated, add onions to the pan and season lightly with Game On! seasoning
  3. Gently cook for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown and caramelized. Remove from pan and reserve

Cooking

  1. Heat pan to medium high or high. I went with 400°F+ with a cast iron pan on the Big Green Egg for this cook
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan
  3. Sear venison quickly on each side until well browned, preferably less than 2 minutes per side. You’ll want a hot pan since you do not want to overcook.
  4. Remove from pan when browned but still rare (115-120°F internal temperature). The temperature will continue to rise during the rest, and you do not want to go above 135°F with good venison.
  5. Reduce heat to medium
  6. Add mushrooms to pan and cook for a few minutes until they begin to brown
  7. Add cognac to pan and reduce by half (careful if it ignites)
  8. Once alcohol is cooked off, whisk in heavy cream, and continue to stir until the sauce thickens to desired consistency
  9. Add venison medallions and caramelized onions to the sauce briefly, and remove from heat
  10. Slice the venison and serve immediately