Fancy restaurants as well as local establishments known more for hearty eating and ample servings than stratospheric levels of culinary achievement frequently offer beef and seafood combos with the rhythmic description of “surf and turf.” Many types of seafood combine nicely with venison, but that is especially true of shellfish.
With that in mind, here are a pair of recipes which, rather than one being devoted to wild game and the other to fish, feature a marriage of the two and the promise of some mighty fine eating.
1 whole venison tenderloin
12 large or 18 medium shrimp
½ cup Italian salad dressing
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-2 slices bacon
Cut loin lengthwise within a quarter- to half-inch of the base to butterfly. Place loin in Italian dressing and marinate for at least four hours. After marinating, remove, drain, and pat dry. Cook shrimp in water seasoned with Old Bay and peel.
Melt butter in microwave or a sauce pan and add lemon juice; drizzle over shrimp after they have been placed in the middle of the backstrap. Close backstrap over shrimp and secure with string.
Line bacon along the top of the backstrap where juices will enter the cut. Place stuffed loin on a rack in broiler pan and roast until rare (an instant-read meat thermometer is helpful here).
Meanwhile, prepare wine sauce.
½ cup butter
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup slice mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup white wine
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Melt butter. Sauté onion, mushrooms, and garlic until translucent. Add wine and Worcestershire sauce and simmer slowly to reduce to about half. To serve, slice loin and spoon on wine sauce.
Tip: Pairs nicely with baked brown rice and baked apricots, both of which can share the oven while the meat cooks. With the addition of a green salad you have a gourmet meal.
Loin steak with shrimp and crabmeat sauce
1 pound loin steak cut a quarter-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet and cook the loin quickly until medium rare. Place on a platter and keep warm. It is best to cook the loin after the sauce has started thickening.
Crab and shrimp sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cups whipping cream
¼ cup White Zinfandel wine
¼ cup butter, cut into 12 pieces
½ pound crabmeat (surimi can be substituted)
12 medium shrimp, cooked and shelled
Heat olive oil in a large skillet, add mushrooms, and sauté for five minutes. Add cream and wine; reduce until thickened (10-12 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
Stir in butter one piece at a time, incorporating each piece completely before adding the next. Add crabmeat and shrimp. Heat thoroughly (about one minute). Pour over venison and serve immediately.
Makes four hearty servings.
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Cover Image: Thinkstock