If you can believe everything you read on Facebook, it’s morel season. I wouldn’t know. As I write this, we’re covered up by yet another spring snowstorm. Thank God for the moisture, but it would be nice to get out and do some mushroom hunting (or some turkey hunting or some fishing). I bet the morels will start popping around here the minute we get another warm day. If you’ve had the chance to harvest some morels this season and happen to have some venison backstrap left from last fall, I strongly encourage you to try this recipe, which was featured in the last Food Fight Friday, from Wild Chef reader Neil Selbicky. If, like me, you haven’t picked any morels, substitute sliced crimini, Portobello, or other mushrooms from the store.
Venison Steak and Morels
– 1 pound of venison back strap, cut ½-inch steaks
– 2 Tbsp. olive oil
– Flour for dredging
– 2 strips of bacon cut into pieces
– ½ pound fresh morel mushrooms – 1 clove garlic, chopped fine – 1 to 2 Tbsp. jelly (currant, apple, or pear) – 1 cup sherry
– Butter – Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat until the oil just starts to shimmer.
2. Dredge the venison steaks in flour and, working in batches, brown in the hot oil, turning once. Transfer the browned venison steak to plate and keep warm.
3. Add the bacon to pan and fry until crisp. Transfer to the plate with the steaks.
4. Slice the morels, then add them to pan, along with the garlic, and sauté.
5. Just before mushrooms are fully cooked, add a tablespoon or so of jelly and stir to dissolve. Add the sherry and simmer until reduced by half.
6. Add a pat or two of butter to the pan and stir to incorporate. Transfer steaks and bacon back to the pan. Flip steaks to coat with sauce.
Serve and enjoy.