Venison Back Strap With Mushrooms & Red Wine Pan Sauce Recipe

Venison Back Strap With Mushrooms & Red Wine Pan Sauce Recipe

Venison Back Strap With Mushrooms & Red Wine Pan Sauce!

There cannot possibly be a better way to eat a backstrap.  I’ve tried several.  This rocks.

#1:  This is THE BEST way to prepare a venison backstrap.  

You will die.  So, so, so delicious.  As my children were scarfing this down I asked them, “How do you like the venison?”

They said, “This is venison?”

It tasted like beef tenderloin.  Fabulous, wonderful beef tenderloin.

#2:  This is also an introduction to making a pan sauce.  

I adore pan sauces.  There is just no other way to develop such wonderful flavors in 10 minutes. Pan sauces are simply that – a sauce you  make in a pan.  BUT the kicker is that there must have been something cooked in pan FIRST.  All the bits of incredible flavor that are left behind (stuck in the pan) are the base for the pan sauce.  Brace yourself for the best sauce to ever land on your plate.

Pan sauces are also called fond.  It has something to do with another language and foundations and fancy cooking lingo.  All you need to know is pan sauces are fond and fonds are pan sauces.

If you’ve never made a pan sauce before, you should!  It’s not difficult.  It is a wonderful use of all the “bits of stuff” that get stuck to the bottom of the cast iron skillet when cooking meat.

ANNNNNNND a simple pan sauce will elevate a boring steak, pork chop or chicken cutlet into something magnificent!  Really, a simple pan sauce can transform a meal.

Pan sauces are also a great way to bring several elements together.  If you have some sauteed veggies or some roasted potatoes alongside your main course, a good fond (pan sauce) can unite your plate into one symphony.

First – we’re gonna cook some venison back strap, then we’ll make the fond (pan sauce).

Here is a quick overview.  

  • Cook meat in pan (don’t burn it) & remove it from the pan.
  • Add aromatics (onion, garlic, etc)
  • Add liquid & reduce by half (it’s easy & only takes 5 minutes or so)
  • Add herbs or mushrooms or whatever floats your boat
  • Add butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Spoon over your meal & enjoy!

If you want a detailed step-by-step guide go here.  It will walk you through everything. 

It’s not hard!  And for a few mintues of work you will get a lovely, flavorful sauce.

Before we get started I must issue a warning – if you killed your deer today, or yesterday – you do not want to eat it yet.  Trust me, I know these things. Bambi is still in full rigor mortis and will be chewy, tough, miserable and may be like eating rubber bands.  For more on how long to wait before you eat something you killed go here.


I know you are going to love this dish.

Enjoy Y’all!

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Print Recipe
Venison Back Strap with Mushrooms & Red Wine Pan Sauce
This is THE BEST way to prepare a venison backstrap. So, so, so delicious. You will not even know you are eating venison. This dish tastes like beef tenderloin. Fabulous, wonderful beef tenderloin. In addition to being the most incredible way to eat venison, this recipe includes a basic, easy, delicious pan sauce. Pan sauces can transform a simple chop or cut of meat into something magnificent! Pan sauces are also a great way to bring several elements together.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine venison
Course Main Dish
Cuisine venison
Recipe Notes

First, put your back straps in a bowl (or zip-top bag) and cover the meat with milk.  Cover the bowl with a lid or some plastic wrap and stick in the refrigerator overnight.  After the 24 hour milk-bath, rinse and trim your venison back straps (try to get all the silverseam off - it lends itself to gamey flavors).  Next, pat dry and salt & pepper both sides.

If you would like to have mushrooms in your pan sauce, it is a good idea to cook them ahead of time so you can just add them to your sauce at the end.

To cook mushrooms - wash, remove the tips of the stems and slice them.  Toss in a pan with a lot of surface area so they cook fast.  Add a tablespoon of lard or butter or oil to the pan & a pinch of salt.  Let cook on medium/ high until they release their juices & turn brown (5-8 minutes).

(pre-cooking the mushrooms ahead of time to make the sauce come together quicker)

Now that the mushrooms are done....

Put some fat (lard or oil) into a cast iron pan and heat on stovetop.  Heat on high once the fat begins to smoke lay your back straps into the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high.  Brown each side (about 2 mintues per side).

Transfer back straps to another pan and stick it in a 300 degree oven and cook until the internal temperature is 125 degrees.  5-10 mintues should do it.

While the venison is finishing in the oven make the fond.

Start with 2 tablespoons of fat.  If your pan has more than 2 tablespoons of fat - pour some off.  If you don't have 2 tablespoons add more fat to the pan.  Add your minced onions (aromatics) to the fat.  Cook them until they are soft.

Pour in 1/2 cup of red wine & 1 cup of stock and 2 tsp maple syrup (can use brown sugar) into the pan with the onions.  If you don't want to use the wine, just replace the wine with stock.

This is a good time to check that backstrap.  When the internal temperature is about 125 degrees take it out of the oven and let it rest on a platter while you finish the fond (if it has not reached 125, but is close - take it out.  It will continue to cook a bit on the counter) .  You want the meat to rest for 5-10 mintues before slicing so you don't lose all your juices.  If you slice the backstrap while it's hot all your juices will run onto the plate.

If any juices accumulated in the dish you baked the back strap in - add them to your fond.

Simmer on medium heat until sauce is reduced by half.   It's OK to measure your contents if you're not sure when it has reduced by half.  It is done reducing when you have about 3/4 of a cup left (we started with 1 & 1/2 cups liquid.... 1/2 C red wine & 1 C stock = 1 1/2 cups liquid).

This only takes about 5 minutes.

Once the sauce has been reduced - it is time to taste it and adjust seasonings (salt & pepper) if needed

Go ahead and dump in your precooked mushrooms.

If you don't want mushrooms just skip this step and go straight to the butter.  Add 3 tablespoons of butter to your pan sauce & stir until it is melted & combined.

Last, slice the perfectly cooked, tender, juicy, venison backstrap and pour on the mushroom pan sauce.


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