Northern Michigan’s hunting season may be over, but now all that juicy meat from the freezer beckons … we love these venison recipes. The pièces de résistance are the medallions of venison tenderloin—that coveted piece of backstrap that will make a believer out of even the leeriest venison aficionado. Here’s how to cook venison tenderloin with an easy, delicious recipe for mouthwatering medallions.

I thought I’d tasted venison before. But, really, I hadn’t until my Significant made me venison tenderloin from a deer he’d shot with his bow in the Northern Michigan woods last October. This buck had spent the summer gorging on neighbor Joe’s peach trees—earning him the nickname Peaches. Peaches’ feasting had Joe galloping mad enough to rant and rave to Steve about That Damn Deer for months. One warm day, Steve felt it was time justice was served. On a plate, if you will. Not long after he’d scaled up to his blind high in a beech tree, Steve heard the rustle of Peaches strutting his rack an arrow’s pop away. It was a clean shot.

If revenge is sweet, let me tell you that the righteousness Steve seared up was ambrosia. Granted, Peaches was fruit fed, but Steve claims any venison tenderloin can taste like it came out of a three-star restaurant if you cook it this simple way:

How To Cook Medallions of Venison Tenderloin

You will simply need:

Recipe: Dust the tenderloin medallions with the fresh-cracked pepper and salt. Heat a cast iron skillet until it is very hot. Melt a tablespoon of butter in it. Place the medallions in the skillet.  When small beads of blood form on the surface—probably no more than two minutes, depending on the thickness of the medallion—turn the meat over and sear it for the same amount of time you cooked the first side.

Remove the medallions from the skillet and deglaze the skillet with some good red wine. If you have some dried morels left over from spring, by all means, reconstitute them and throw them in. Simple, easy, sublime. In five minutes.

Pour the sauce on plates and place the medallions on top. Choose your sides—though I will say that the woodstove-baked sweet potatoes and apples served alongside these were outstanding.

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Photo(s) by Angela Brown