Italian Venison Wellington takes the deer tenderloin and wraps it in puff pastry much like Beef Wellington. In this version, we swap prosciutto for the usual pâté but keep to the traditional duxelles of mushroom, shallot, and herb mixture cooked in butter. This is the ultimate elegant holiday dish that you assemble ahead so you can enjoy celebrating with your friends and family.
First, prepare the tenderloin for the Italian Venison Wellington
Until our son starting hunting I knew nothing about wild game meat. I knew there was the camp that absolutely loved the meat and then there was the other. I can honestly admit now that it’s a delicious source of protein and I’m in the “love it” camp.
One of the main things, I learned, that you had to remove the silver skin. Never heard of that? I hadn’t either. The silver skin is a thin membrane attached to deer meat and it’s important to remove it. Membranes and connective tissues give the meat a “wild taste” so anything that is not rich red meat? Trim! We had to do this with our Italian Venison Stew.
A tenderloin comes in an uneven cylindrical shape so in order to give it an even thickness, tie the roast. The butcher’s twine comes off before wrapping the meat for the Italian Venison Wellington.
Next, drizzle the meat with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Sear the meat, including the ends, in a hot, heavy skillet that’s lightly coated with olive oil. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and chill at least 30 minutes.
Second, prepare the duxelles
Chop the mushrooms and shallots really fine. You can hurry this up with a food processor but we thought it might get too fine and end up with mush. Mince the garlic and fresh sage.
Melt the butter in the same pan you used for the meat. Then, add the duxelles ingredients and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and the moisture evaporates.
Deglaze the pan with Marsala and cream, scraping up any brown bits. Stir in sage and season with salt and pepper. Let this cool to room temperature.
Third, wrap the deer tenderloin
Now, set out the prosciutto on a sheet of plastic wrap about 1 1/2 feet in length. I know that’s long but you’ll need it so you can wrap the tenderloin in the wrap. Shingle the prosciutto, like a roof, so it forms a rectangle that is big enough to wrap the entire venison tenderloin.
Using a rubber spatula cover the prosciutto evenly with a thin layer of duxelles. Season the surface of the duxelles with salt and pepper.
Cut the twine from the tenderloin, carefully, so it keeps its shape. Smear the meat with Dijon mustard — not too heavy of a hand.
Roll up the meat in the duxelles covered prosciutto using the plastic wrap to tie it up — cozy and tight. Tuck in the ends of the prosciutto as you roll to completely cover the venison.
Twist the ends to seal it completely so it holds its nice log shape. Set the log in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Fourth, roll out the pastry dough
This is the part along with the duxelles, that makes this delicious dish a Wellington. Mmm!! 😋💕 Meat cooked in puff pastry! All those wonderful juices contained in a delicious buttery puff pastry. I could almost write an ode to the dish.
I’d better get back to the recipe, 😊 I think my tummy is growling! Okay, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to about 1/4-inch thickness. Depending on the size of your puff pastry you may have to use two sheets and overlap, pressing them together.
Remove the venison from the fridge and cut off the plastic. Set the tenderloin in the center of the pastry and fold over the longer sides, brushing with egg wash to seal.
Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold to completely seal the deer tenderloin. Place the puff pastry wrapped venison seam side down on a baking sheet.
Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash. Using the tip of a paring knife make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry. This creates vents that allow the steam to escape when the meat is cooking.
Fifth, bake the Italian Venison Wellington make Marsala sauce
Bake the Italian Venison Wellington in a 425 F preheated degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes. The pastry is a gorgeous golden brown and the venison registers 140 F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the tenderloin from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve thick slices with Marsala Sauce.
We wanted to keep the Italian flavors going so we decided to serve the venison tenderloin with a rich Marsala sauce. All it requires is just some herbs and aromatics to enhance the flavor. We use cornstarch to thicken the sauce and butter to make it silky smooth.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a venison tenderloin in your freezer you can use this recipe to make a beef tenderloin. The procedure is exactly the same.
Italian Venison Wellington is a beautiful dish for any special occasion. If you already have your main dish for Christmas, how about New Years 🥂 or even Valentines Day? ❤️
Tutti a tavola è pronto!
Un caro saluto e alla prossima.
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