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Updated: Apr 18

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Seared venison tenderloin medallions are probably one of the first meals that a new wild game meat eater tries at the dinner table. And it's with good reason, smoky bacon and red meat taste absolutely amazing together.

Bacon Wrapped Venison Medallions Recipe
Photo by Larry White

Pairing venison tenderloins and bacon isn't a way to mask any unwanted gamey flavors that people associate with venison, it's actually to highlight the rich dark red meaty goodness with some smoky flavor and juicy fat. And with deer meat being exceptionally lean, a little added fat doesn't hurt.

As a Southerner, I love fresh and hot hush puppies with my deer steaks and seafood. So I included a sweet potato hush puppy recipe that pairs well with the sweet and tangy cilantro and orange tapenade. If you're in the mood for something a little creamier, try the medallions with my almost famous Alabama white sauce. It tastes amazing with the smoky bacon and crispy seared venison.

Disclaimer, I did use a boxed cornbread mix for the hush puppy recipe to make things a bit easier. But if you have a great homemade cornbread mix, by all means, use that instead. And if you're a tapenade lover, make some extra because this version goes great with wild pork and shrimp as well.

If you don't have any venison tenderloins available, you can easily use deer backstrap, eye of round or top round with great results. Just make sure to trim any silver skin or other connective tissue from the meat before cutting them into smaller pieces or wrapping in bacon.

Looking for other venison recipes? These are a few of my favorites:

Lastly, if you make this bacon wrapped venison, be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! Also, tag me on Instagram with some of your creations. I thoroughly enjoy hearing feedback and checking out the photos of recipes that you've made.



Serves: 3 to 4 people
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Author: Larry White


For the Bacon Wrapped Venison Tournedos

  • 8 venison medallions (about 2.5 inches thick venison cut from the backstrap or tenderloins)

  • 8 strips thick cut smoky bacon

  • 1 bunch cilantro stems (chopped)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 4 cloves fresh garlic (chopped)

  • salt and pepper as needed

  • butchers twine for securing the bacon

For the Orange Cilantro Tapenade (will keep one week in the fridge)

  • 1/4 cup fresh or high quality orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup kalamata olives (pitted and finely chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons capers (finely chopped)

  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves (finely chopped)

  • kosher salt

  • ground black pepper

For the Hushpuppies

  • Cooking oil (for deep frying)

  • 1 (8.5 ounce box) cornbread mix

  • 1/4 cup cake flour

  • 6 - green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup canned sweet potato puree


  1. Wrap and marinate the venison. Place the bacon in a pot with enough water to completely cover the bacon. Bring to a slow simmer and cook the bacon for 3 minutes. Remove the bacon and dry off with paper towels. Wrap one piece of bacon around the circumference of each medallion. Wrap butchers twine around the bacon and venison to secure.

  2. Place the venison in a baking dish. In a bowl mix together the oil, cilantro, garlic and a pinch of kosher salt & back pepper. Pour the marinade over top of the meat and marinate for 2 to 8 hours.

  3. Make the tapenade while the venison is marinating. Combine all of the ingredients for the tapenade to a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Covered tightly this mixture will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

  4. Make the hush puppies and keep them warm in the oven. Pre-heat your oven to the warm setting. In a heavy duty medium sized pot, add enough oil to fry the hush puppies while leaving at least 3 inches of clearance to insure there is no oil spillage. Bring the oil to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the hush puppies and mix until thoroughly combined. Drop the batter into the hot oil in tablespoon size portions being careful that you do not splatter the oil. Fry in batches until they are golden brown (about 3-4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Place uncovered in a pre-heated warm oven while you cook the venison.

  5. Cook the venison medallions. Place your grill or large cast iron skillet over high heat. Season the steaks with salt and black pepper. Place the steaks on their sides (bacon side down) and cooked while rotating the meat until the bacon in nicely browned and a little charred. Now turn them onto their flat sides and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until you reach your desired internal temperature (as always I recommend not cooking venison steaks passed medium rare). Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, remove the strings and serve with the tapenade and sweet potato hush puppies.



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Meet Larry White

Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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