Updated: Sep 21, 2021
In cooking as with music, if you're not being influenced by other people/artist you're not really growing or learning. And what better way to be influenced in the kitchen than with Native American cuisine. When cooking in this style you tend to find earthy and sweet flavors from wild rice, herbs, berries, corn and maple sugar to name a few that all are a perfect pairing to just about any game meat. Here the venison tenderloins go in for a quick overnight cure which gives the meat a robust flavor and helps it sear up nicely. The sauce is very simple and can be served with pork, duck and goose meat.
2 teaspoons whole coriander
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
DRIED BLUEBERRY SAUCE
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 cup real apple juice
2 cups black cherry juice
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup maple vinegar or raw apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
WILD RICE FRITTERS
1 1/2 cooked and cooled wild rice
1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced
1/4 cup fine cornmeal ( I like Marsh Hen Mill)
1 tablespoon duck fat or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
high smoke point oil for frying
Cure the venison tenderloins. Place the dry ingredients for the rub in a large skillet and toast over medium low heat until they are fragrant, about 5 minutes ensuring they don't burn. Let the spices cool completely and then grind in a spice or coffee grinder. Rub the spice mixture all over the tenderloins, cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Make the sauce. Combine the blueberries, apple juice and black cherry juice to a pot. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the water and vinegar, simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half. Remove the sauce from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Pour the sauce back into the pot, add the dried cherries and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the fresh basil.
Make the wild rice fritters. Preheat your oven to the warm setting. Mix all of the ingredients for the fritters together until well combined. Form into 2 inch patties and fry until golden brown. Place in the warm oven while you cook the venison.
Cook the venison tenderloins to your liking. Preferably in a hot pan until nicely browned and medium rare. Serve with the sauce and wild rice fritters.