Don't forget the veggies to accentuate your venison loin.
Venison is meat butchered from deer that tends to be leaner than the corresponding cut of beef. A venison tenderloin steak has approximately 150 calories and is packed with 30 grams of protein. Your task in preparing a healthy venison tenderloin is to deliver the natural nutrition and earthy flavor without adding additional calories. Feature your tasty tenderloin as the centerpiece of a meal paired with steamed whole grains and earthy veggies such as leeks or potatoes.1.
Thaw your tenderloin in the refrigerator if it is frozen at or below 40 degrees F for food safety reasons. Allow 24 hours to thaw for each 5 pounds of venison and cook within one to two days.2.
Marinate your tenderloin overnight in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and an acid such as lemon juice, vinegar or wine. Add salt, pepper and herbs such as sage, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and marjoram. Though the small amount of oil adds a few extra calories, it will help prevent the lean tenderloin from drying out during cooking.3.
Allow your venison tenderloin to warm slightly at room temperature for no more than one hour. If you take your tenderloin directly from the refrigerator to the grill, it will not cook evenly. Warming any meat for more than one hour can allow an unsafe level of bacterial growth.4.
Cook your tenderloin at 375 degrees F or below. High heat will cause the muscle fibers to tighten up and toughen your meat. Grilling, broiling, braising or baking are equally healthy cooking methods that don't involve the addition of extra calories in the form of oil. Tenderloin can be pan-fried if it is sliced into medallions first to allow even cooking.5.
Finish venison at an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F for food safety. Check the temperature using a meat thermometer at the thickest point of the tenderloin. Do not overcook venison, as it will tend to dry out more quickly than beef.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Meat thermometer
- Serve your venison tenderloin immediately while it is still very hot. Once it begins to cool it may develop a greasy texture and a gamey taste or odor.