Sorry, I couldn’t resist, lol. I found that on Facebook and thought it was perfect for this article. Moving on…
Here in Virginia, it’s Hunting Season – has been for some time now. That means, someone has to cook what is killed. Since tenderloin is one of the most popular cuts of meat, I thought I’d throw up some tips and tricks.
Now, there are a million cookbooks out there with a gazillion recipes for deer, or as some call it, Venison. They get pretty fancy, too. I even saw one with some sort of blueberry relish. I have never cooked those. We are pretty predictable here as to how we cook deer. We make burger, jerky and fry up the steak and tenderloin. We either make a gravy to go with what we fry or we eat it without. No one gets bored and no one is complaining. Not that anything is wrong with braising it with a Red Wine or making Sauces with Blueberries like in the fancier books. It’s just that here, we like to keep the blueberries for the pie and Cobblers.
Let’s talk equipment…
A lot of people use non-stick these days but when it comes to frying, I prefer Cast Iron. A good seasoned Cast Iron skillet makes a great crust and a terrific stage for making gravy. If anyone needs to know how to season a Cast Iron pot or Skillet, let me know and I’ll write something up. Also, a Cast Iron Skillet adds Iron to your meal or can increase it to something like 40%. That’s always good to know, right?
You can use Lard or whatever kind of Oil you like. I actually just learned by muckin’ around that Coconut Oil makes a really crispy crust. I have never used Olive Oil but a basic oil for frying – of your choice—will do. You do not have to deep fry it. Just add enough in the pan that will cover half way up the side of the meat – UNLESS you are accustomed to using less.
Flour & Seasoning
Don’t be afraid to use seasoning. You can buy a seasoned flour or you can season your own. Pepper, Paprika, Seasoning Salt, Garlic and Onion Powders, Cayenne – these are all great seasonings for your Flour. Use them all or use some but DON’T be SHY. The only thing you have to be weary of is the Salt and the Heat. That should be customized according to your tastes. As far as all other Seasonings, add them so you can actually taste them. And remember, if you goof and don’t add enough, you can sprinkle them on again after you fry your Deer good and brown.
I’ve never had to marinade Tenderloin, as it’s always good and tender. Sometimes people need to marinade steak, though, unless you have a Cuber and are using that. You can buy a Steak Marinade or you can mix up your own. Great things to marinade with are anything with an Acid — lemons, oranges, etc. Soy Sauce, Wine, Vinegars, Salts, Meat Tenderizing Seasonings—all good for marinades.
One of the worst things a person can do is toss out the bits and pieces left over from frying. And don’t pour out all of that left over oil, either. Another shameful thing, not browning your flour. When you put the flour in the oil and bits, brown it up until it’s good and dark. That helps to flavor the gravy once you add the liquid. And the liquid can be – broth, milk, water or a mixture of milk and water or a mixture of broth, milk and water. Some people love Mater Gravy, and if that’s the case, then use a can of Diced Maters in juice with water. (Add water only to thin out if it’s too thick.) Don’t use Maters that have seeds left in them. This can give the gravy a sour taste.
If I think of anything else, I’ll update or write up another and link the two. Have any questions, just comment and I’ll answer what I can.