If I’m cooking for a crowd, I’ll use an inexpensive generic wine for a reduction and save my money for the wines that I drink. If I’m making this recipe at home, my go-to wine is the Michael-David Freakshow Zinfandel. It’s a bit more subtle than some of the bolder zinfandels from the Lodi, California region. The Michael-David Freakshow line is a clear winner. The current selections include a Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Not only are the wines exceptional in taste and value, the labels are cool, too.
Pan-Seared Tenderloin with Zinfandel Sauce
- 1 or 2 venison tenderloins, cut into serving-sized pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups beef or venison stock
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup zinfandel
- 4 tbsp chilled butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
- Season venison with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add venison and cook until rare to medium-rare, about 4 to 5 minutes to brown both sides. Remove meat from pan, and keep warm.
- Add stock, rosemary, garlic, and pepper to pan. Stir to remove bits. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. Add wine, and reduce liquid to about ¼ cup. Return venison to pan to warm through to serving temperature.
- Arrange venison on plates. Remove pan from heat, and whisk in butter pieces, a few at a time, until incorporated into the sauce. Spoon sauce over venison.