Saturday, February 7, 2015

Moose Tenderloin with Mushroom Cream Sauce

February in Alaska doesn't present much in the way of fresh foods, which is why many of us spend part of our summers and fall canning and freezing our fresh veggies, berries, etc., as well as preserving our fish, seafood and wild game. Moose meat takes center stage in this recipe. It's naturally lean, delicious and organic. It can be prepared in the same way as most cuts of other domestic meats - the main difference is that it needs to be cooked to an internal temp of 155 degrees. This recipe is a delicious way to use moose tenderloin paired with a rich mushroom cream sauce. I roasted up some root veggies I harvested last fall and made a side of Israeli couscous which made a nice, hearty meal. You'll need to use an oven-safe skillet for this recipe...cast iron is perfect. ~Patti
2 pounds moose tenderloin 
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and pepper

Mushroom Cream Sauce:
1 pound assorted mushrooms
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 small shallot,finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste

First things first, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season your gorgeous tenderloin generously with salt and pepper. In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil until is shimmers - very hot (the pan must be super hot to get the nice sear). Add butter and gently mix in until it melts. Add tenderloin and sear on each side, about 3 minutes per side. 
Place pan into oven and cook until the tenderloin is almost 155 degrees. I took mine out at about 153 degrees. It will continue to cook a bit after removed from the oven. Set tenderloin on cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Tent with foil to keep warm.
While the tenderloin is cooking, make the sauce. Slice mushrooms into quarters after cleaning. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and cook over medium high heat. Let mushrooms cook without stirring until they start to brown, then flip them over. Add more butter if the pan is too dry. Total cook time is about 5 minutes until nicely browned. Add shallot, salt and pepper and cook a few more minutes till shallots soften. Add thyme. Remove from heat and add wine. Return pan to heat and scrape pan to loosen the yummy browned bits on the bottom. Add cream and  bring to a gentle boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Roasted root veggies! So easy, and so good with this dish. I have a winters-worth of potatoes and carrots that I harvested this past fall. I added a sweet potato and onion to the mix - perfect. Chop veggies to similar size, put in plastic bag and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Put on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for abut 20 minutes, turning once.

When everything is ready, slice tenderloin and arrange on plate, drizzle with creamy mushroom sauce and serve with roasted veggies and couscous...a perfect winter meal!

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