It’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes on the website mostly due to having been gone on my muzzleloader Nevada cow elk and antelope hunts this month. I have to say that we were very fortunate to find and harvest the cow elk opening night with one quick shot to the heart. The goat hunt wasn’t as successful, but I learned my lesson. I passed on two decent bucks on the third day that were within 70 yards, but I decided to keep looking for something just a little bit bigger. Lesson learned that you can’t eat horns. Six days later, I could never get close enough to even have an opportunity to shoot my gun. Lucky for them and not so lucky for us. Decisions. Decisions. Hopefully they’ll be a next time!
So the best thing to cheer me up, is the celebrate with what we did bring home. This elk tenderloin was seared to perfection and then finished with a simple pan sauce. I trussed the tenderloin with butchers twine to retain the overall shape and thickness for even cooking. This isn’t a requirement, but if your tenderloin does taper off at the ends, it does help to tuck them in and tie them up.
Then all you do is season your tenderloin with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat and add oil, 2 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the tenderloin to the skillet. Sear all three (3) sides until a deep brown crust has formed, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the tenderloin from skillet when done and loosely cover with a piece of foil. (Of course a bull elk tenderloin will be slightly larger, so be sure to use a meat thermometer if you aren’t sure when to remove it. You are looking for 125 degrees internal temperature to remove and then rest, bringing the temperature to a medium-rare at 135 degrees.)
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the shallots, garlic and remaining butter to the skillet. Using a whisk, stir all ingredients together until the shallots turn golden brown. Add beef stock to the skillet and whisk to dissolve all of those tasty leftover bits. Continue stirring until sauce begins to bubble and thicken up. Remove from heat.
Cut the tenderloin into 1/2″ thick slices and drizzle pan sauce over the top. ~Enjoy.
- 1 elk tenderloin
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup beef stock
- butchers twine
NOTE: You can also add a spring of rosemary or fresh thyme to the pan sauce while cooking.Venison and pronghorn tenderloins pair well with this pan sauce. Adjust cooking times based on size.