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Made with perfectly grilled venison tenderloin, grilled red onions, and homemade horseradish mayo this is the Ultimate Venison Tenderloin Sandwich! Stick to the recipe and add arugula, gorgonzola, and balsamic reduction or mix and match your favorite ingredients to really make this sandwich your own!
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This sandwich is like a handheld venison steak dinner! You’ve got perfect medium rare slices of venison tenderloin, peppery arugula greens, grilled onions, horseradish, and gorgonzola cheese all on buttery grilled ciabatta bread. What more could you ask for from a venison recipe?
Speaking of venison recipes: I've got some killer venison sandwich and burger recipes for you! Try my classic juicy venison burger recipe, a venison patty melt, or a grilled venison Philly cheesesteak for a real treat!
Ingredients for this recipe
- Venison Tenderloin – Perfectly grilled and so tender.
- Venison Dry Rub – We’ve got to season the tenderloin, after all.
- Ciabatta Bread – Buttered and grilled sandwich bread is the best sandwich bread.
- Red Onions – They get all sweet and tender on the grill.
- Fresh Arugula – I love the peppery flavor of arugula leaves.
- Balsamic Vinegar – We’re going to make a sweet and syrupy balsamic reduction.
- Mayonnaise & Prepared Horseradish – For horseradish mayo.
- Gorgonzola – Blue cheese and steak go hand-in-hand.
- Butter – For the bread and to finish the steak.
- Flaky Sea Salt – This adds extra seasoning, and those big crystals are so great to crunch into when you take a bite of the sandwich.
Making a Venison Steak Sandwich
- Make the horseradish mayonnaise. This can be done a few days in advance.
- Make the balsamic reduction. This can also be done a few days in advance. I love that we can prepare all the ingredients in advance and then fire up the grill when ready to eat.
- Season the steaks and grill the venison tenderloin. I have an entire post outlining how to grill venison tenderloin that is super detailed and helpful.
- Grill the bread and red onions. One of my favorite things about the Rider 900 DLX pellet grill is that after I’m done grilling the venison at 500 degrees I can turn the temperature down to 350 for the onions and bread.
- Assemble the sandwich. With all those delicious toppings and fillings.
- Venison Steaks – Grilled backstrap can be substituted if you don’t have tenderloin. You can even use slices of leftover venison tenderloin if you grilled some or pan seared some recently.
- Dry Rub – If you haven’t yet made a batch of my venison dry rub you can season the venison simply with Kosher salt and pepper.
- Bread – Sourdough or French bread would also be great options for holding this sandwich together.
- Greens – If you’re not a fan of the peppery arugula, baby spinach is also a delicious tender green to use.
- Balsamic Glaze – Not interested in making your own balsamic reduction? They sell balsamic glaze in the store that would work just fine.
- Gorgonzola – I used a creamy gorgonzola that gets all melty in the sammie, but blue cheese crumbles would also work. Goat cheese would also be delightful if you’re not into blue cheese.
Ultimate Venison Tenderloin Sandwich
- Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 DLX Pellet Grill (or charcoal/gas grill)
- Tin Foil
- Small Saucepan
- 1 pound venison tenderloin
- 2 teaspoons venison dry rub, more or less to taste
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 ciabatta sandwich rolls
- 4 tablespoons salted butter at room temperature, divided
- 1 small red onion, sliced into rounds
- 2 cups fresh arugula, for serving
- 2 ounces gorgonzola crumbles, for serving
- Flaky sea salt, for serving
The day before serving:
- Up to 24 hours ahead, pat the tenderloin dry with paper towel and season liberally on all sides with 4 teaspoons of venison dry rub.
- Leave the tenderloin uncovered and place in the fridge overnight.
- In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add ½ cup balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vinegar has boiled down and reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
When ready to eat:
- An hour before cooking, remove the tenderloin from the fridge. (It is important to allow any meat you’re cooking to warm slightly before cooking to avoid it becoming tough.)
- While the meat comes up in temperature, preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Rider 900 DLX to 500 degrees, making sure the heat baffle is set to “Sear.” Additionally, butter each ciabatta roll with 1 tablespoon of butter and set aside.
- Add the tenderloin to the preheated grill. Close the lid and cook for 2 – 3 minutes before flipping and cooking for another 2 – 3 minutes for medium rare.
- Remove the steak from the grill and immediately top with 2 tablespoons of butter and tent with foil. Allow steak to rest for 5 minutes.
- While the venison tenderloin rests, lower the temperature of the grill to 350 degrees. Place the sliced red onion rounds and buttered ciabatta rolls onto the grill. When bread is toasted, about 2 minutes, remove and set aside. Flip onions and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes, or until they are tender.
To assemble the sandwiches:
- Spread some horseradish mayo onto each side of the toasted ciabatta. Add the arugula leaves. Slice the rested steak and divide among the sandwiches and sprinkle with the flaky sea salt.
- Add the grilled onions, crumbled gorgonzola, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction before topping with the other half of the grilled ciabatta.
- Refer to post for notes on ingredient substitutions.
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