Venison, and other game meats, can be challenging to cook because they are so lean. I cook my wild-caught meat en sous vide, so I can make it perfectly rare every time. These venison loin medallions are seared on the outside, red on the inside, and juicy throughout. At lunch, coworkers were literally stealing them off of my plate!
It's about an equal split between vension recipes that include bacon
and venison recipes that do not include bacon
. When you have a piece of vension so gorgeous and lean you might mistake it for tuna, there's no need to cover it up with factory-farmed fat just to keep it moist. Sous vide cooking makes creating moist game dishes easy.
"Sous vide" is French for "under vacuum" and cooking en sous vide typically refers to vacuum packing ingredients, then cooking them under very strict temperature control. "Precision cooking" might be a more accurate term, but all gastronomical things tend to gravitate toward the French descriptions. When sealed in plastic, the aromatics cannot vaporize so flavors are more intense, and food can be cooked in water baths held at specific temperatures for long periods of time without the water soaking or otherwise changing the texture of the food. Sous vide is a food service technique that has been embraced by the world's best chefs, and with some equipment that is not outrageously expensive, you can duplicate some of their dishes.
My two favorite references for sous vide are Thomas Keller's Under Pressure
and A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking by Douglas Baldwin
In this particular recipe, I cooked salted venison loin medallions approximately 3/4 of an inch thick at 130 F for 1 hour, and finished them with a blowtorch.
Since originally publishing this recipe, I've also cooked venison loin at 131 °F for 12 hours. Cooked this way, the venison is just as tasty, but even more tender. See Step 7 for more details.