Delicious Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce Recipe

As a lover of fine dining, I am always on the lookout for recipes that are sure to impress my guests. Today, I want to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite dishes: Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce. This recipe combines the delicate flavor and tender texture of seared venison with a rich and savory sauce made from cabernet wine, beef broth, shallots, and herbs.

What sets this recipe apart is the balance of flavors achieved by combining sweet and savory elements with the meat’s natural richness. It’s a dish that is perfect for entertaining guests or treating yourself to a special dinner.

Best of all, this recipe gives you an opportunity to work with venison, which is an often-overlooked protein in many American kitchens despite its rich flavor and health benefits. Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting your culinary journey, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds and give you a new appreciation for venison. So gather your ingredients, grab your favorite bottle of red wine, and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce
Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce

Are you tired of the same old beef tenderloin? Do you crave a more unique and adventurous dining experience? Look no further than this delicious venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce recipe.

Not only is venison meat leaner and healthier than beef, it also offers a rich and earthy taste that will delight your palate. Paired with a flavorful cabernet sauce, this dish is sure to impress even the most discerning of guests.

But what really sets this recipe apart is its versatility. Whether you’re hosting a fancy dinner party or simply craving a special meal at home, this dish can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion.

So why settle for the same old boring beef when you can elevate your dining experience with the tender and succulent flavors of seared venison tenderloin and a rich cabernet sauce? Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to plain old beef again.

Ingredient List

 The juicy and tender venison tenderloin in its full glory!
The juicy and tender venison tenderloin in its full glory!

Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce Recipe Ingredient List
For the Venison:

  • 2 lbs venison tenderloin or 2 lbs axis venison loin or 2 lbs denver cut venison
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Cabernet Sauce:

  • 1 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon recommended)
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Note: You can use any other aromatic vegetables like roasted root vegetables to enhance the flavor. Certain meat cuts can be gamey, so adding aromatic vegetables in the sauce will help balance its distinctive taste.

What Are The Best Varieties Of Wine For This Dish?

If you plan to use red wine for the sauce, go for a bold and dry one like the Cabernet Sauvignon. Venison’s strong flavor profile demands an assertive wine partner. A tannic red wine can help balance the dish’s bold flavors. However, if you prefer white, try using a full-bodied Chardonnay to complement the dish. It has enough weight to stand up to the venison while also adding some richness and depth of flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 A perfect recipe to impress your dinner guests with!
A perfect recipe to impress your dinner guests with!

After gathering all the ingredients for my delicious Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce, it was time to begin cooking. Below are the step-by-step instructions to make this mouth-watering dish come to life:

Prepping the Venison

  • Step 1: Begin by prepping the meat. Take the 2 lbs venison tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides with 2 tsp minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.

  • Step 2: In a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast-iron pan, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add in the seasoned venison tenderloin and sear on all sides for approximately 3 minutes per side until nicely browned.

Making the Cabernet Sauce

  • Step 3: Remove the venison from the skillet and set aside on a plate covered with foil to rest.

  • Step 4: In the same skillet over medium heat, add in 1 diced onion, 1 diced carrot, and 1 minced shallot. Cook until softened for about 6 minutes.

  • Step 5: Pour in half a cup of your preferred red wine like Cabernet Sauvignonand scrape up any browned bits from searing the meat using a wooden spoon.

  • Step 6: Allow the wine to reduce until it’s nearly evaporated (reduced to about one tablespoon).

  • Step 7: Add in 2 cups of beef broth or stock and return to a boil until the mixture has thickened slightly, for about 10 minutes.

  • Step 8: Finally, whisk in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, a bay leaf, and a sprig of fresh parsley.

  • Step 9: Return the venison back to the skillet and coat with sauce. Simmer for another 5 minutes over low heat until fully coated.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve my tenderloin with Cabernet sauce with roasted root vegetables such as parsnips, carrots, and fennel. The sweetness of the vegetables pairs beautifully with the richness of the venison.

Another great side that would go perfectly with this dish is creamy mashed potatoes or roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

Final Thoughts

By following these easy steps, you can make a succulent dish of venison tenderloin in Cabernet sauce with just a handful of ingredients. Remember to use a high-quality bottle of red wine for a bold flavor that will truly elevate your dish!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready for a perfect combination of succulent meat and rich sauce.
Get ready for a perfect combination of succulent meat and rich sauce.

If you’re looking to switch things up with this venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce recipe, there are certainly a few variations and substitutions you can consider. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Venison back strap: If you don’t have access to tenderloin or would like to try something different, venison back strap is a great substitution. It has a similar texture and flavor, and will pair well with the cabernet sauce.

– Other Game Meats: Any type of game meat could be used instead of venison if preferred. Elk or wild boar, for example, would work well in this recipe.

– Wine Types: While Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic choice for the sauce, other dry red wines such as Merlot or Shiraz can also be used depending on your taste preference.

– Soaking the Meat: If you’re using deer meat, it’s recommended that you soak it in buttermilk or milk overnight to help remove any gaminess. However, if you’re using farm-raised venison, this step may not be necessary.

– Vegetables: Roasted root vegetables such as carrots and onions can make a great side dish for this tenderloin, however if you don’t have access to them other veggies like brussel sprouts also pair well with the flavors.

Remember – cooking is all about exploring different options so get creative, swap in what ingredients you like or have on hand at home. The end result should still satisfy your taste buds!

Serving and Pairing

 This venison tenderloin will melt in your mouth.
This venison tenderloin will melt in your mouth.

When it comes to serving and pairing this venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce recipe, it’s all about finding the perfect balance of flavors.

I recommend serving the tenderloin sliced into thin medallions and drizzled with the rich cabernet sauce. This dish pairs well with mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables like carrots, shallots, or parsley.

For a more elaborate presentation, try wrapping the seared venison medallions in bacon before roasting them in the oven, and top with a cherry or mushroom sauce.

As for pairing wine, nothing complements the bold taste of venison quite like a full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot. Alternatively, you could pair this dish with a dry Shiraz, which has hints of blackberry and pepper that will complement the spiciness of the cabernet sauce.

For beer lovers, go for a dark porter or stout to bring out the richness of the meat and the earthy flavors of the dish.

In conclusion, this venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce recipe is versatile and can be paired with a variety of sides and drinks. Experiment to find what best suits your palate and preferences!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Savor the aroma of the grilled venison tenderloin.
Savor the aroma of the grilled venison tenderloin.

Looking for a recipe that you can prepare days ahead? This Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce is perfect for you! The meat can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before reheating. First, let the venison cool down to room temperature before wrapping it tightly in cling wrap. Place it in the refrigerator until needed.

To reheat, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and lightly oil an oven-safe dish. Remove the cling wrap from the meat and place it in the dish. Lightly brush the top of the venison with olive oil to prevent the meat from drying out. Cover with foil and bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through.

The cabernet sauce can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use. Any leftover sauce can be stored in a glass jar and refrigerated for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

For best results when reheating the sauce, pour it into a pot and reheat gently over low heat while stirring constantly to prevent scorching. If you find that the sauce has become too thick after being stored, simply add a small amount of beef broth or red wine to thin it out.

This make-ahead recipe is perfect for entertaining guests or for special occasions when you need to have your meal prepared well in advance. Save yourself some time by preparing this delicious venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce ahead of time and impress your dinner guests with a fabulous meal!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Prepare to indulge in a dish fit for a king or queen!
Prepare to indulge in a dish fit for a king or queen!

To ensure venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce is a success, here are my top tips for cooking perfection:

1. Bring venison to room temperature before cooking- Take it out of the fridge and let it sit for about 20 minutes, allowing for even cooking.

2. Clean and Preheat your skillet – Use a heavy bottom skillet or cast iron pan, so that the meat can get a nice crust. Make sure to clean the skillet before heating it up, as any leftover flavors or fats may impact the taste of the final product.

3. Sear the Meat – Searing the venison tenderloin gives it a nice outer crust and locks in moisture. Heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and then add the meat carefully to avoid splattering. Cook on both sides for around 3-4 minutes until golden brown.

4. Use a meat thermometer – Invest in a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your cooked meat. The internal temperature should be between 125 – 130°F (for medium rare), or between 130 – 140°F (medium). Anything higher may result in overcooking.

5. Resting Time is Key – After searing or grilling, it’s important to allow the meat to rest once removed from heat. Place it on a clean cutting board and let it rest uncovered for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

6. Don’t Overcook the Sauce – be mindful not to overcook the sauce, as this may alter its consistency and flavor. Simmer till desired thickness is reached, while stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

7. Quality Ingredients Matter- Using high-quality ingredients is essential when it comes to this dish, so try to source fresh venison tenderloin, unsalted butter, beef broth, and red wine that you enjoy drinking.

8. Pair it with mashed potatoes- Venison tenderloin with cabernet sauce is perfectly paired with mashed potatoes. Serve the dish with bacon-wrapped roasted root vegetables or a hearty mushroom sauce to complement its rich flavors.


As your cooking journey continues, it is natural to encounter questions about the recipe ingredients, their measurements, serving size, and more. I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help clarify any inquiries you may have and to ensure that you have a seamless cooking experience. Let’s dive in!

What is a good sauce for deer meat?

If you’re looking for a sauce that pairs perfectly with dark wild game meat like venison, duck or goose, Cumberland Sauce is the way to go. This classic sauce boasts a tangy and rich flavor that can also complement the distinct taste of bear meat.

What wine goes best with venison tenderloin?

As a sommelier, I often recommend red wines with robust, earthy or smoky flavors that can complement the richness of venison meat. Some excellent options are full-bodied wines such as Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. Additionally, strong beers such as Porter, Belgian Strong Ale, and Double Stout can also do justice to this hearty meat.

What’s the best thing to soak deer tenderloin in?

To mellow down the pungent taste of venison and make a tough cut tender, it is advisable to marinate it in acidic buttermilk for an entire night.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a sophisticated yet hearty dish for a special occasion, look no further than this Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce Recipe. With its rich and savory flavors, it’s sure to impress even the most discerning palate.

The tender and juicy venison tenderloin is perfectly complemented by the bold and intense cabernet sauce. And with the recipe’s flexibility to substitute ingredients and make variations, you can really make it your own.

Plus, if you’re a fan of red wine, this recipe gives you another excuse to enjoy a glass or two alongside your meal. The aromatic and complex notes of the cabernet in the sauce draw out the flavors in both the meat and wine, enhancing both dining experiences.

If you want to impress friends or family with a truly gourmet meal or simply want to treat yourself to something delicious, give this Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce Recipe a try. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce

Venison Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce Recipe

Another favourite venison recipe. This recipe considers farm-raised deer which is readily available in better butcher shops, or some larger super markets. A favourite cook offers up this recipe, and can be found in "Lee Bailey's Cooking for Friends". I like Lee Bailey's recipes because he shops for fresh ingredients; I have tried to make a habit of doing just that for each dinner party.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 188.2 kcal


  • 2 1/2 lbs axis venison loin or 2 1/2 lbs denver cut venison
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups cabernet sauvignon wine
  • 1/2 cup shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Rub the venison with garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Put olive oil in a heavy skillet.
  • Add venison and sear over high heat until browned on all sides- about 3 minutes Place in oven and roast until medium-rare; for 16- 20 minutes, turning once.
  • Meanwhile, combine the wine with the vegetables and herbs and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce by half over medium heat- about 8 minutes.
  • Strain out vegetables and discard.
  • In a saucepan, reduce broth by half over high heat- about 7 minutes.
  • Combine all the liquids.
  • When meat is done, remove to cutting board and cover loosely with foil.
  • Pour any fat from the pan and deglaze with the reduced liquids
  • Whisk in the cold butter and add salt and pepper.
  • Spoon a bit of sauce over each meat serving.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 128gCalories: 188.2kcalCarbohydrates: 4.9gProtein: 13.5gFat: 7.9gSaturated Fat: 2.4gCholesterol: 51.9mgSodium: 126mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.4g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Christmas, Meat, Oven, Roast, Stove Top, Thanksgiving, Weeknight, Wild Game
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