This Deer Wellington recipe is an absolutely stunning holiday dinner idea! Traditional beef Wellington gets a twist with the use of fresh venison tenderloin. Serve with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts for a Christmas dinner that is elegant, but surprisingly easy!
I have wanted to make deer wellington for ages now, and I am so glad it finally happened! It turned out even better than I could have imagined. The venison was perfectly medium rare, the duxelles was flavorful, and the puff pastry was flaky! What more could you ask for in a venison wellington recipe?
If you’ve got the itch to try your hand at one of the most classic Christmas dishes and have cuts of venison on hand – this is the dish for you! Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:
- Venison Tenderloin (backstrap would work too!)
- Puff Pastry (just use the store-bought!)
- Dijon Mustard
- Mushrooms (I used a mix of button and cremini)
- Fresh Thyme
- Grapeseed Oil
As far as recipes go, this isn’t a huge list of ingredients! A lot of people are intimidated by beef Wellington, as there are numerous steps, but none of them are too complicated! Let’s take a look, shall we?
Deer Wellington Recipe
Make the duxelles. In the bowl of a food processor combine the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic until chopped fine.
Cook the duxelles. In a sauté pan with butter, salt, and pepper. Stir in the fresh thyme.
Sear the tenderloin. In a cast iron pan after it’s been wrapped with butcher’s twine. This will help the meat keep its shape!
Make a rectangle of prosciutto. Simply overlap slices of the meat on plastic wrap. This will help you roll everything together later!
Add the cooked duxelles. In a thin even rectangle that’s just a tiny bit smaller than the prosciutto.
Add the seared tenderloin. And then brush it with Dijon mustard. There are so many layers of flavor here!
Wrap up the tenderloin. Use the plastic wrap to help guide and aid in the rolling process. Make sure the bundle is wrapped tightly and the ends are twisted shut before chilling in the refrigerator.
Wrap the tenderloin in puff pastry. After chilling it. This will help keep everything sealed together during the cooking process!
Seal and egg wash the Wellington. I just used the back of a spoon to press down onto the seams of the pastry before brushing the entire thing with one beaten egg.
Bake the deer Wellington. For 25 minutes! Using two small cuts of venison tenderloin and two small sheets of puffy pastry mean a fast cook time for this stunning dinner.
Let the meat rest. Before slicing and serving with roasted potatoes and brussels sprouts!
No food processor? No problem! Finely chop all the ingredients for the duxelles with a sharp chef’s knife before cooking.
Easy on the butter! I know, I can’t believe I’m saying that! Start with two tablespoons of salted butter when cooking the mushrooms. These fungi naturally release their moisture when they begin to cook so you don’t want them swimming in liquid!
Cook times may vary. The reason a lot of people are intimidated by Wellington recipes is that you can’t see the meat while it’s cooking. The most important thing is to get the meat up to 130 degrees in the oven (carryover cooking will take care of the rest!). An instant read thermometer is a great tool to have to check the doneness of venison around 25 minutes.
More venison recipes you may enjoy
- Ground Venison Stroganoff
- Venison Enchiladas
- Grilled Venison Backstrap
- Venison Meatballs
- Mini Venison Pot Pies
And to all a good night!
- Butcher’s Twine
- Plastic Wrap
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Pastry Brush
- Baking Tray
For the duxelles:
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms I used button and cremini
- 2 small shallots
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 TBSP salted butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme
For the Wellington:
- 1 ½ pound venison tenderloin cut in half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 TBSP Grapeseed oil
- 12 slices prosciutto
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 sheets puff pastry thawed according to package directions.
- 1 egg beaten
- Wrap the tenderloin pieces with butcher’s twine in 1-inch sections. This will help the meat to keep its shape during the cooking process. Season each tenderloin with salt and pepper and set aside while you prepare the duxelles.
For the duxelles:
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic until very fine. (This may need to be done in two batches.) Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the mushroom mixture to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat and cook, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes. During this time the mushrooms will release all of their moisture. This is ok! The liquid will evaporate and the mushrooms will then brown.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh thyme. Set duxelles aside.
For the Wellington:
- Set a cast iron pan over high heat. Add 2 TBSP of grapeseed oil to the pan and when the oil begins shimmering, add the tenderloin. Sear on each side for 1 minute. Remove from pan and set on a plate to rest.
- To make the prosciutto layer place 6 pieces of prosciutto slightly overlapping over one another on a large piece of plastic wrap. They should form a rectangle that is slightly longer and twice is tall as the tenderloin.
- Spread half of the duxelles over the prosciutto rectangle. Brush the tops of the tenderloin with Dijon mustard.
- Place one of the tenderloin pieces, mustard side down, on the bottom of the prosciutto and duxelles rectangle. Brush with more Dijon mustard.
- Using the plastic wrap to help, wrap the prosciutto tightly around the venison tenderloin. Seal each end by twisting them shut.
- Repeat the process with the second tenderloin, creating another layer of prosciutto and using the second half of the duxelles. You will now have two pieces of wrapped venison tenderloin. Chill for at least 25 minutes, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the puff pastry sheets just a tad.
- Rotate the pastry so it has a corner pointing toward you, like a diamond. Place a wrapped tenderloin in the center of the puff pastry. Fold the corner facing you up and over the tenderloin and brush with egg wash. Fold in each end corner and brush with more egg wash. Fold over the top and press down the seams with the back of a spoon or fork before brushing with egg wash. Repeat the process with the second wrapped tenderloin and the second sheet of puff pastry. Slice slits into the top of the pastry with a sharp knife.
- Bake deer Wellington in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the venison registers 130 degrees.
- Remove from oven and allow Wellington to rest for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Duxelles can be made up to one day ahead, as well as the wrapped tenderloin.
- Removing the meat at 130 degrees means that carryover cooking will bring the tenderloin up to at least 135, or medium rare. For a more rare tenderloin, cook only 20 minutes. For a more well-done Wellington, cook longer.
- Recipe adapted from Delish.