Summer Blueberries and Venison Are A Great Combination

Summer’s a great time for fresh vegetables and fruits, including some of the latter that can be turned into an easy, delicious sauce for your favorite venison dish.

Blueberry Shitake VenisonBlueberries, mangoes, strawberries and blackberries are in season. Mashed up a bit,  mixed with a little heavy cream in a saucepan and then stirred so they don’t burn, they can be a nice addition to a tenderloin, backstrap or kebab dish.

Separately, of course. I wouldn’t mix all of those because then you wouldn’t get the great, sweet flavor of the different fruit. Toss in a squirt of wasabi paste, too, for a sweet-sour tang. With the berries and mangoes available at markets and stores, you can practice with them until you refine your own “Dang, that’s good!” sauce to drizzle over the venison.

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Here’s one of our favorite dishes from Food For Hunters, which has some super recipes. This Blueberry Shitake Venison includes venison, fresh blueberries, mushrooms, butter and cream. Holy cow. The good thing, too, is it’s easy to make.

Blueberry Shitake Venison

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients
venison tenderloin, kept whole (amount depends on how much you want to eat)
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tbs. butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries (or frozen), slightly crushed
1/3 cup of fresh shitake mushrooms (or your favorite) , stems removed and sliced
1/2 cup of elderberry wine (or your choice of berry fruit juice)
sugar (optional), to taste

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Remove all silver skin and fat from venison tenderloin. Dab dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure you let the tenderloin come to room temperature before you go to cook it.

2. In a pan, heat 2 tbs. of butter and 2 tbs. of olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, quickly sear the venison on both sides until you get a nice brown color – about 2 minutes each side. Move the tenderloin to an ovenproof dish. Put it in the oven to allow it to keep warm and continue to cook to medium- rare. Do not overcook!

3. Lower the heat to medium, and add sliced mushrooms to the same pan with the venison drippings. And the blueberries … saute until the mushrooms are soft and the blueberries start to break down, stirring often.

4. Then add the wine or juice, scraping all the tasty bits from the bottom of the pan.

5. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Then add the remaining 2 tbs. of butter.

Stir in some salt and sugar, if desired. You want a balance between sweetness, tartness and a little saltiness. During this whole time, make sure you don’t forget the tenderloin in the oven. Internal temperature for medium-rare should be 125-130 degrees F.

Slice tenderloin into medallions. Drizzle blueberry-shitake sauce over the medallions. Serve with your favorite sides!

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