Door County Deer Hunt

The annual Gun/Deer hunt begins tomorrow at the crack of dawn…6:22 a.m. to be exact.  Tonight, I will make Pan Seared Venison Loin with a Shiitake Mushroom and Chardonnay Sauce for my family and any hunters that stop by. My friend Ronnie and I took a wild game cooking class at the Savory Spoon Cooking School (now located in Ellison Bay) and got this recipe from our teacher Chef Bruce Alexander, from the famed Alexander’s restaurant in Fish Creek.  Even if you think you don’t like venison, this recipe will change your mind…

Pan Seared Venison Loin

3-4 pound venison loin

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Dry Rub (you can use any type of rub you have on hand i.e Emeril’s etc.)  Bruce uses his own concoction

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground  black pepper

Clean venison loin of its silver skin.  Brush with olive oil and rub with dry rub, kosher salt and pepper.  Let meat sit, covered in the refrigerator for 3-8 hours is desired…  Preheat heavy saute’ pan (I used my cast iron skillet) until very hot.  Sear all sides of loin until seared well.  Pull the loin from the pan and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.  Place loin back in the pan and roast in a 375 degree oven until medium rare (I know this sounds weird for venison to be done medium rare, but trust me, it’s delish and important for this recipe).

Shiitake Mushroom and Chardonnay Sauce

2 cups shiitake mushrooms stemmed and sliced thin

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup chardonnay

1 cup veal or beef demi-glace (it is like the Better than Bouillon… add water to it to make a cup.  The directions are on the package.  If you can’t find it just use 1 tsp. Beef Better than Bouillon and 8 oz. of water and mix together).

1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the meat on a platter and cover with foil, then in the same pan saute’ the mushrooms in the oil over medium high heat until tender.  Add the wine, demi-glace and cream and reduce until nice and creamy.

I usually slice the meat and pour the sauce over as opposed to keeping the loin whole because when people see the meat is medium rare they turn up their noses.  Serves 6-8.  I usually double this.

Have a safe hunting season and if you are a walker, don’t forget your blaze orange.  I cut a blaze orange cap and put it around our dog, Bailey’s neck, just to keep her safe.

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