Saturday, January 06, 2007

Elk Tenderloins With Roasted Vegetables

First you have to go hunt the elk. That's the hard part. It's also the fun part if you like stuff like that as my son and I do. Our hunt this year was very productive. We both brought in nice sized four to five year old bucks. The hides were given (along with some of the choice cuts) to some of the old folks on the rez. That's how we do things. This did however leave us with two tenderloins. I had a request from "shades of blue" in beautiful Hawaii for a recipe that included roasted vegetables. Since there's not a great big chance of finding venison in Hawaii I would imagine that you could substitute a pork tenderloin without much problem at all. Also, since you're trying to lose weight (and succesfully too!) I would think that you could do without the Cumberland Sauce. I have made peace with being the amount of overweight that I am (about 30lbs mostly gut paunch) to where I can enjoy something as perfect on a roasted hunk of venison as the Cumberland Sauce is.


3 lbs boned and trimmed elk tenderloins
2lbs carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces (or just use the baby guys in the little sack)
2 lbs russet potatoes, cut in half
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 lbs rutabegas or turnips cut in half
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
fresh sage leaves, bruised (rubbed between the palms)
fresh rosemary leaves, bruised
several cloves of garlic peeled and smashed

Heat your oven to 425° then spray the roasting pan down with non-stick spray (if you're using a well seasoned cast iron roaster like I do don't bother with the spray). Put the roasting pan over a high flame on the stovetop, add a splash of olive oil and sear the tenderloins well. About 4 minutes per side (all four sides).

Then add the vegetables around the tenderloins. Sprinkle them evenly with the oil, add the rosemary, sage and pepper, toss in the garlic and roast in the oven uncovered for forty minutes to an hour. This is game meat so you are wanting it fully cooked. The internal temperature should be at least 165° and the vegetables should be tender.

Take the pot from the oven and remove the tenderloins. Allow them to rest at least five minutes. This will allow the juices to work back into the meat and it won't run all dry when you slice it this way. Toss the vegetables and the pan juice around together, salt to taste and put into a nice serving bowl.

Slice the tenderloins into medallions about 1/4" thick and cover with

Cumberland Sauce INGREDIENTS

zest of one valencia orange, minced
1 cup dry port wine, or madeira
juice of 1 orange (do the zesting part first, it just works better this way)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup currant jelly (again, I swear by Trader Joe's house brand for this)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger,

Boil over a high flame the zest and the wine volume is reduced by a third. Add remaining ingredients and cook over a medium flame until jelly is melted. You can also add raisins to this, they are a nice touch. If you do, add them into the wine with the zest for the whole reduction and mingling of flavors thing.

Cumberland sauce is one of my favorite things for a game meat. It's acid enough to cut some of the gamey quality (although the backwoodsman in me kinda likes that) without being overpowering like a Bordellaise or Bernaise. It also rocks out loud if you crumble some bleu cheese over the tenderloins while they are resting, then you get that whole, velvety sharp cheesy thing going all through the meat when you slice it.

Served with a nice French Onion Soup and fresh baguettes. This is truly a meal worth the going out into the woods and hunting down part.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

...first you have to go hunt the elk ...

Who could resist a receipe like this ...I'll have to sub the meat since Elk are in really short supply 'round here .. the sauce is the real draw for me ...thanks

9:38 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

along with the pork, you can also substitute lamb. butterfly, roll and tie a lamb leg and you'll have a reasonable approximation of a tenderloin.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That recipe calls for a righteous Zinfandel (or a French red from the Rhone region, or an Australian Shiraz) if one is imbibing.

- oddjob

11:54 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

while i don't drink myself i understand that this is no imperative for the rest of the world to do the same. when i served this i had guests who drink and were offered a nice california Barbera. the spicyness of that particular grape (when you can find an unblended Barbera) was reported as a fine complent. i would go with something a little toothier than a Zin. petite, sirah, bordeux or even a young thoroughly cheeky spanish vino tinto.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't catch this til today.
Unfortunately I've morphed into head nurse at the 'house of strep'.
I've been doing shots of 'airborne' for 4 days to boost my immune system so I don't catch it as well.

Thanks for the recipe.
I've put rutabega in stew and I've cooked turnips w/apples on the stove top but never roasted.
And I even have a lovely piece of venison from my friend the farmer-a pleasant payback for feeding his cows during football season.

There is no godly way I can resist the cumberland sauce-you hooked me with the words cayenne/ginger.
I'll just eat celery for breakfast and lunch.

Anyway, I'd like clarification on something....
425 degrees???!!!!
Seriously or is that a typo?

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way.
I lived in Hawaii (past tense).
My two kids were born there.
Now I live in Western PA (north of Pittsburgh).
Long long story.
The kind that requires multiple cups of coffee
and a kitchen table.

5:04 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

seriously, but remember that's for a tenderloin which is a long, skinny cut. for a thicker and denser cut like a haunch i would suggest bringing it down to 375° and doing the beginning 30 minutes of cooking covered. but for a tenderloin, 475° uncovered should do the trick.

6:11 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

grrr 425°

10:29 PM  

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