Venison Steak Diane: Enjoy ‘The Great Backstrap’!


Venison Steak Diane: Enjoy ‘The Great Backstrap’!


There are some people out there who, although they love bringing down that deer, are not all that gung-ho when it comes to enjoying it on a plate. But there are ways to most definitely enjoy venison; ways that may even move it into the ‘top spot’ as being the most popular game meat when it comes to taste.

When it comes to preparing it is good to know ahead of time that, yes, if you do overcook venison as well as handle the meat poorly after it brings you glory out there in the woods, it will turn out to be poor fare on the dining room table. If all goes well during the prep work, however, the loin and tenderloin will be primo cuts of meat. Lean, tender, and seasoned simply makes this not only delicious but easy to cook, which is why they are referred to as “The Great Backstrap.” Sticking to these basic steps will always provide you with great venison, but when it comes to lifting it from great to so memorable you will want it many times over, adding a specific sauce will do just that.

With Venison Steak Diane, not only the venison but the backstory appeals to the avid hunter. Diane refers to Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. Sauce Diane, which first appeared in culinary books back in 1907, is a classic sauce created just for venison. Put these two together and you have a fantastic dish. Just make sure you also have a whole lot of fresh-baked bread on hand, because this sauce is so delicious that every diner will want to sop up every bit of it off their plate.


Venison Steak Diane needs that tender cut, and the best way to cook it is to begin with a large piece of backstrap that you will then cut into medallions before you serve. And while it is important to use heavy cream for this sauce recipe (because lighter creams will separate), it is not that important to have some fancy liqueur on-hand for this recipe. The list of ingredients to have is small:


1/2 pound piece of venison backstrap or tenderloin


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 shallot, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup brandy (or whatever your drink of choice may be)

1/2 cup venison stock or beef broth

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup heavy cream

Minced herbs for garnish (basil parsley, chives, etc.)


Make sure to pull the venison from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature (approximately 20 minutes), and salt the loin well.


In a large sauté pan, cook the butter over medium-high heat for about 90 seconds. Pat the venison dry with a paper towel and cook it on all sides. Turn the heat to medium so the butter doesn’t scorch. It should take approximately 8 to 10 minutes to get a nice brown crust on the venison without overcooking the center. Then remove the venison, tent loosely with foil and set it aside.


Into the same sauté pan, cook the shallots for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Deglaze the pan with the brandy (or whatever you have chosen), scraping off any stuck-on bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Let the brandy/liqueur cook down almost to a glaze, then add the venison stock, tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, then stir. Let this boil down and then leave on high heat for approximately 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, let the boiling subside, and then stir in the cream until the sauce is as light as you like. Don’t let the sauce boil at this stage, or it could break.


Slice the venison into thick medallions; pour some sauce on a plate and top with the meat, finishing it off with some chopped herbs on top. Break out that bottle of red wine, sit back, and enjoy. With Venison Steak Diane, you have a slam-dunk dinner that all family and friends will want again and again!


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