Venison Wellington with Duxelles of Mushrooms - Great with Backstrap & Roasts
Updated: Feb 20
Here’s a nice dish to try when you’re expecting company and you have some prime, boned-out cuts of venison. It is a twist on Beef Wellington. In our version, though, there isn’t a pâté beneath the crust, but a good Dijon mustard and a duxelles of mushroom.
1½-pound venison backstrap or round roast
¼-teaspoon meat tenderizer
½-teaspoon favorite steak seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups finely chopped mushrooms (mixed varieties add complexity)
2 minced garlic cloves
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon butter, divided
2 teaspoons dry sherry
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Egg wash - 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1-piece puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm works well, but you can also make your own)
A few teaspoons flour (to flour rolling surface and thicken sauce)
½-cup beef broth
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 to 3 teaspoons sugar
Season meat with tenderizer, steak seasonings and Worcestershire sauce and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours. Remove and pat dry with a paper towel. This promotes browning.
While the venison marinates, chop vegetables. Melt two tablespoons of butter in one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook until the mushrooms begin to render their liquid. Add sherry and continue cooking until most of the liquids evaporate. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat if needed to prevent burning. Total cooking time should be 7 to 10 minutes. The mixture will not appear completely dry because of the fats. This mushroom mixture adds flavor and helps keep the meat moist while roasting. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 375.
In the same skillet, heat remaining two teaspoons of oil over medium high heat. Add the meat and brown on all sides, including the ends. This takes a couple minutes per side. Set skillet aside, reserving any juices. Set meat aside on a platter.
Roll pastry dough on a floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Roll enough to easily encompass the meat. Spread mustard over the top of the roast and top with the mushroom mixture. Place meat top side down on the dough. Wrap the meat, overlapping and moistening edges with a little water to seal the seams. Place seam side down in a greased baking dish and insert a meat thermometer in thickest part. Make a small slit on opposite side of thermometer to vent. Use dough scraps to decorate the top of the Wellington. Brush the top and sides with the egg wash.
Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, or until the meat registers the desired temperature (120 for rare, 130 for medium rare and 145 for medium) and the pastry is golden brown. The venison will continue to cook after removal from the oven, so don’t overcook. Let rest for about 15 minutes.
While the Wellington rests, add the broth, wine and rosemary to skillet. Heat over medium, scraping up any brown bits, until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. If the sauce is bitter, add sugar to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk together one teaspoon softened butter and one teaspoon flour. Whisk mixture into the sauce, a little at a time, until you reach desired consistency.
Slice the Wellington and serve with sauce. Tarragon works well in place of the rosemary in the sauce and is a frequent and flavorful accompaniment to the mustard. Roasted vegetables, potatoes and a hearty red wine pair well this dish.