Pan Seared Venison Medallions with Balsamic Caramelized Onions are a delicious way to serve venison tenderloin by cutting it up into medallions, pan searing it until medium-rare and then topping with a spoonful of onions that have been cooked down in a buttery balsamic vinegar glaze.
The majority of the venison recipes I have shared so far have been for ground venison. such as venison tacos and venison chili. Ground venison is very easy to work with, and the cooking method does not differ much from cooking with ground beef.
Cooking venison medallions, venison steaks, venison backstrap, venison tenderloin (all can be ways of saying the same cut of meat), does differ from beef steaks.
Venison is EXTREMELY lean, and can be prone to overcooking. Because there is very little fat woven throughout the venison medallions, it is important to not overcook them. If you do, you run the risk of it tasting more "gamey" and the texture being tough. Medium is the most done you want to go for.
What are venison medallions?
The medallions of venison come from the "backstrap" or tenderloin of the deer. The backstrap is the part of of the deer that runs along the length of the spine. The tenderloins can then be cut into little "medallions" similar to the size of filet mignon. This is a very tender piece of meat when cooked correctly.
What you will need
- small venison tenderloin medallions
- italian seasoning
- balsamic vinegar
How to cook venison medallions
1 hour before you plan to cook your venison meat, remove them from the refrigerator and allow to come up to room temperature. This will help the inside of the venison steaks to cook more evenly.
In a small bowl, combine flour, italian seasoning, and salt. Pat venison pieces dry and coat with flour mixture.
In a cast iron skillet, melt half of the butter over medium heat. Add in venison medallions and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a side plate when the internal temperature is between 130-135 degrees F and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Add remaining butter to the skillet, along with onions. Saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar and reduce for 1-2 minutes.
Serve venison medallions topped with onion and balsamic mixture.
Looking for more sauce?
If you want more of a "sauce" to pour over the deer medallions, add ½ cup of beef stock or red wine to the caramelized onions at the same time as the balsamic vinegar. Allow to cook down a few minutes and spoon over top of your venison steaks.
Tips to avoid overcooking venison
- Use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer is going to be your friend here to avoid overcooking your meat and avoid having to cut into it to check the venison medallions doneness. Medium-rare venison will temp at 135 degrees F. There will be some carry overcooking when you are making meat so be sure to pull it from the heat a few degrees before 135.
- Make sure meat is room temperature before cooking. This step is huge and is a great tip for both cooking beef steaks and when cooking wild game like venison. When a cut of meat is thicker and has been sitting in the fridge, the inside often remains cold while the outside is cooked. This can be an issue and you risk overcooking the outside of the steak while the inside remains raw. To avoid this, let the meat come to room temperature before applying any heat. This way, the middle and outside cook at a more even pace.
Store finished venison medallions in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I like to store the onion mixture separately, but that's just a preference.
Venison Medallions with Onion Balsamic Sauce
These venison medallions with balsamic onion sauce are cooked medium rare and will take your wild game steaks to the next level.
- 4 small venison tenderloin medallions
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tbsp. italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 hour before you plan to cook your venison medallions, remove them from the refrigerator and allow to come up to room temperature. This will help the inside of the venison steaks to cook more evenly.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, italian seasoning, and salt. Pat venison pieces dry and coat with flour mixture.
- In a cast iron skillet, melt half the butter over medium heat. Add in venison medallions and brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a side plate when the internal temperature is between 130-135 degrees F and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Add remaining butter to the skillet, along with onions. Saute until soft, about 15 minutes. Deglaze with balsamic vinegar and reduce for 1-2 minutes.
- Serve venison medallions topped with onion and balsamic mixture.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 692mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g
Steve P says
How thick should the medallions be?
Around 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
I have made venison roast and ground meat meals, however I was not lucky enouge to get backstrap from my hunter friends, now I have some. Made this recipe tonight,4 medallions , OMG sooo good. Served with creamy mashed potatoes and seasoned green beans. Next time (hope my friend will give it up again, won't tell him how good it is lol.) I need to double the onion sauce. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
What great friends you have! And I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe.