This easy Venison Wellington recipe is a wonderful way to serve healthy wild game to your friends and family! It is delicious and looks impressive, especially when served on a platter surrounded with some fresh herbs. It is an iconic British recipe usually served on special occasions. Most recipes I found were for the classic beef wellington, but I believe venison is a lovely substitute.
At first, I was hesitant to make venison wellington, because I thought it was rather intimidating! But it’s really not hard to make. It takes a bit of prep and time, but it is quite possible to make it turnout great the first time.
You can use deer, elk, or antelope meat for this recipe. (technically ‘venison’ refers to all ungulates) I used elk meat the first time, so it was actually an Elk Wellington, if we’re being specific!
How to make Venison Wellington
First, you need to thaw your puff pastry. Also thaw your deer or elk meat, if it is frozen. I process my own wild game, and I leave the loins (backstraps) either whole or cut in chunks. This recipe uses one-third of an elk backstrap.
Next, place portabella mushrooms and onion in a food processor and pulse until chopped fine. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor several times.
Then heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the chopped mushrooms and onion mixture and cook, stirring often. This step will take a bit of time – about 20 minuets or so. You want to continue stirring frequently as you cook, until the mushrooms begin to brown and have cooked off all the juices.
Finally, add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for one minute. Stir in the parsley and remove from heat. Let the mushroom mixture cool to room temperature – about half an hour or so.
To prepare the venison backstrap:
Heat bacon fat (or more oil) in the same pan in which the mushrooms were cooked. Sear the venison loin over medium high heat, until browned well on all sides. Sprinkle all over with salt and black pepper, then set aside to cool to room temperature. You can wrap the loin in butchers twine, but I found that unnecessary. If you are using two pieces, or tenderloins, etc, then you would want to tie it up.
When venison and mushrooms are cool, then it is time to prepare the venison Wellington for the oven. Place plastic wrap on a clean counter, using two overlapping pieces to form a large rectangle. Lay slices of prosciutto in the center of the plastic wrap, making a smaller rectangle than the wrap. Spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the prosciutto.
Rub mustard all over the venison loin, and place the loin along the bottom side of the prosciutto rectangle. Using the plastic wrap, roll the venison loin in the mushroom-covered prosciutto to form a log. Wrap the plastic cling film highly around the meat, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Prepare the puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 425. on a lightly floured surface, place a sheet of puff pastry onto the floured surface, then add a second, with the edges slightly overlapped. Unwrap the venison backstrap, and place on the puff pastry. Wrap the meat securely into the puff pastry making sure all pastry edges are tucked in.
Use water or egg wash (made of a beaten egg brushed between edges to make them stick. if you are using a shorter piece of meat, you may only need one and half sheets puff pastry. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash, then cut several slits in the top with a sharp knife, to allow steam to escape. NOTE: on the photo, the wellington is resting on a wire baking rack. Don’t do that! I was experimenting, hoping it would make the bottom more crispy. Well, all it did was stick to the rack, despite me generously oiling it. So it actually works better on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Bake the venison wellington
Place venison Wellington on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure you spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray first! Bake the venison Wellington for 40-50 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reaches a safe temperature: Medium-rare is 120. The crust should be golden brown, but if it starts to brown too much, tent it with a piece o foil to prevent it from burning. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
I often just use pantry ingredients, since I live an hour from any major grocery store. But this would be great with fresh herbs, like fresh parsley or thyme. But the dried herbs work just fine! Don’t let that stop you!
This recipe is very much modeled after the classic beef Wellington, and I was very happy how it turned out! You could also use venison tenderloins, but then you would want to use two tenderloins so there is enough meat. Use butcher’s twine to tie them together while searing them, then remove the twine. Elk tenderloins would be wonderful as well!
How to store venison Wellington:
We stored the leftovers in the fridge and reheated it a few days later in the air fryer. That worked great to crisp up the crust again. I don’t know how this would be if frozen. I think I would freeze it raw, if I was going to freeze it. But it does keep in the fridge for several days, just like most foods. However, I would try to only make what we eat in one meal, as it is best fresh and warm from the oven!
What to serve with Venison Wellington:
A savory sauce would be great drizzled over the deer meat. A fresh salad or some steamed veggies are perfect. If you are serving it at a holiday meal, I would serve a beautiful jello salad on the side.
If you try this recipe, please come back and update me on how it turns out! I would love to know. I wasn’t sure of my kids would balk at the mushrooms, but they loved this meal and complimented me on it!
Venison Wellington Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
- 1 onion
- 1 lb portabella mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic fresh
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 teaspoons parsley dried
- 1.5 lbs deer or elk loin also known as backstrap
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or bacon fat
- 1 17 oz package puff pastry thawed
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 4 oz Prosciutto thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- Place mushrooms and onions into a food processor. Pulse till they are chopped very fine.
- Place oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushroom mixture and sauté till all juices are evaporated. Add garlic and seasonings, stir and fry for one minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Make the Venison Wellington
- Heat more oil in the same pan and sear venison loin on all sides until browned well. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Place two sheets of cling wrap on the counter, overlapping a bit, to make a large rectangle. Place prosciutto on the plastic. Spread the mushroom mixture on the prosciutto. If the mushrooms seem a bit too wet or soggy, take a paper towel and press it against the mushrooms, to soak up any excess moisture. Toss paper towel.
- Rub mustard over the piece of venison. Place meat on the edge of the mushroom mixture, and roll up - using the plastic wrap to get it tightly together. Place wrapped meat in the fridge to chill for an hour or more.
- Unfold the puff pastry, place on a lightly floured, clean counter. Unwrap the meat, place it on the pastry. Carefully wrap the pastry around the meat, and tuck in the ends. Dip your fingers in water and make the dough edges damp, so they stick to gather and seal.
- Place wrapped meat on a baking sheet that is covered in parchment paper. Brush top with egg wash. Cut several slits into the top of the dough with a sharp knife. These are to allow the steam to escape.
- Bake the venison Wellington at 425℉ until a meat thermometer inserted into the center reaches 120℉ for medium-rare. This will take about 40-50 minutes. If the top starts to become very brown, set a piece of foil over the top to prevent excess browning.
- When meat is at teh correct temperature, remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve with horseradish sauce, if desired.