OVEN ROASTED TENDERLOIN

OVEN ROASTED TENDERLOIN

The tenderloins are the tender cut of meat deep inside the belly of the animal. Theyre the hip flexors, or the fillet mignon.  Because this muscle is not weight bearing, it is considered the most tender, and therefore the most expensive cut on an animal.

THIS IS A CARIBOU TENDERLOIN, WHICH IS SMALLER THAN A MOOSE AND SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN AN ELK.

Using this prime cut as well as a few tools will ensure that this recipe tastes and looks amazing every time. Once you become familiar working with the tenderloin you can experiment with different ageing techniques, marinade or no marinade, cooking on the BBQ, over an open fire etc. The most important thing to remember, and this goes for all wild meat, is to NOT overcook it. Wild meat is extremely lean and will dry out faster than domestic cuts. For this reason I suggest using a meat thermometer, as well as letting the meat rest for a few minutes after cooking.

Preparations for the perfect tenderloin roast can start a week  in advance. I prefer to hang fresh meat a minimum of 3 days and up to a week depending on your refrigeration capabilities and the size of tenderloin. Hang meat in a dry, well ventilated, cool place that is protected from insects. A refrigeration unit is ideal, but if youre in the bush, a shady screened in meat tent will suffice. It is essential the cut of meat is not in contact with anything except ample airflow. A dry jerky-like crust will form on the meat and when this happens you know the inside is sealed and is aging and tenderizing properly.

Once the tenderloin has aged to desired tenderness, its time to trim and marinade the cut. Start by trimming off the thin outer layer of jerky, youll notice that the meat just below the surface is noticeably more tender and darker in colour after the aging process. Once youve finished trimming the loin, its time to introduce it to the marinade.

For this recipe you will need:

2 elk, moose or caribou tenderloins, aged and trimmed

(use larger animal tenderloins. Sheep or deer loins are so small they should just be cut up and roasted over a fire on the mountain)

1 c red wine

1 c olive oil

1/2 c balsamic

1 c soy sauce

1/4 brown sugar

4 cloves crushed garlic

2 Tbsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp each oregano, thyme, marjoram, basil and rosemary

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c cream or canned milk

1 c sour cream

In a mixing bowl combine red wine, olive oil, balsamic, soy sauce. Whisk in brown sugar, garlic, mustard and spices.

Pour marinade into a large ziplock bag, add tenderloin and turn to coat the meat. Let sit in the fridge or a cool place for up to 48 hours turning occaisonally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove tenderloins from marinade and place in a baking dish in the oven, making sure they arent touching.

In a large pan on medium heat, reduce the marinade slowly, whisking occaisonally maintaining a constant simmer. This usually takes as long as the tenderloins to cook. After 15 20 minutes of reducing, whisk in the heavy cream and then sour cream. Whisk vigorously so the sauce doesn’t separate. Continue reducing until it becomes thick.

Remove the tenderloins when the internal temp is 140 degrees F. Cover and seal with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice into 1/2 inch thick medallions. Spoon reduced sauce over top.

Holy shit, that was worth a whole week of preparation.