Deer fillet is a succulent piece of venison and a good source of lean protein.
Autumn is the time of year where we need to keep ourselves warm during grey and rainy days, and this delicious dish will help to do just that!
Although deer is a delicate red meat to prepare there is no need to be anxious as when in season you can find it at your butcher, local shop or even from a hunter. They usually know how to handle venison, so let them do the main work and process the necessary aging and cutting. Ask for fillet or tenderloin and eat as soon as aged enough for consumption.
We like to keep the taste of the meat ‘pure’ and add only freshly chopped herbs. The bacon adds flavour, but it also prevents it from drying out while cooking. Even beginners can’t go wrong with this recipe. That said, the best way to serve venison is rare but pink or medium rare is still acceptable. Anything cooked more will result in dry meat.
Although we like to make the deer the ‘hero’ of this dish, the accompanying sauce is a must to elevate this dish from ordinary to luxury. It requires some time and technique to make, but all in all, it is not difficult, and you won’t be disappointed with the result. If you have homemade cherry jam, it is the perfect moment to use it!
Related: Chunky cherry jam
Side dishes that pair well with venison
Roasted or pureed, most root vegetables pair well with venison as well as broccoli, green beans and pumpkin. Roasted garlic knobs are delicious and even Jerusalem artichoke chips can be added if you want to make it a lighter garnish.
Bacon Wrapped Deer Fillet
EQUIPMENT (click pictures for details)
For the sauce
Prepare the deer fillet
- Trim and remove the silver skin of the deer tenderloin if there is still any remaining.
- Lay 6 paper thin slices of bacon on the work bench next to each other, sprinkle with the freshly chopped herbs and pepper mignonette.
- Place the deer tenderloin on the layered bacon and roll it out.
- Use kitchen twine to secure and bind the deer tenderloin; keep aside.
Prepare the sauce
- Grind the cinnamon stick, anise star and clove to powder.
- Cook the sugar and vinegar to a golden caramel “gastric”.
- When the gastric is cooked enough, deglaze the saucepan with the red wine, the demi-glace, and add the ground spices.
- Bring to the boil and simmer to reduce by half until the sauce is fragrant and thickened. This will take around 15-20 minutes.
- Add the cherry jam as per your liking, cook for another 2 minutes and season to taste.
- Strain the sauce through a thin mesh sieve and keep it warm.
Prepare the cream sauce
- Combine the whipping cream and rosemary leaves.
- Bring to the boil and cook until thickened, then season to taste.
Pan fry the deer
- Sauté the wrapped deer tenderloin with some oil on both sides for 6-8 minutes.
- Place the deer fillet on a wire rack and cover with foil and rest for 4 minutes.
Plate the dish
- Spoon the sauce around the hot plate. Cut and arrange the deer medallions in the centre of the plate. Spoon some of the rosemary cream around.
- The cherry jam is optional to finish the sauce but it will balance the sourness from the vinegar and red wine and make the sauce shinier.
- If the sauce is a bit sour or too spicy then add a knob of butter to balance the flavours.