Friday, March 19, 2010

Venison Tenderloin With Pomegranate-Orange Sauce

March 2010 357

If sauces have you flummoxed, trust me, this one is easy to make. No boiling down bones, no demi-glace, and no shopping for a gazillion ingredients. It takes no more than 15 minutes to put together and uses only a few items. One of them is pomegranate juice. I received a case of it from the nice folks at POM and have been enjoying it in a drink at breakfast each morning. But it also works great in sauces such as this one.

I prepared this dish last weekend but it almost didn’t happen. We had some violent weather here in Central New Jersey with hurricane force winds and torrential rains. We were fortunate that we never lost power, as much of Princeton did, but the sounds of branches snapping against the house and a sump-pump working overtime did little to assuage our anxiety. We lost a couple of large trees, including a nearly 40 foot pine that snapped in half and thankfully landed in the street, not against our house. Other folks in town were not so fortunate, including the owners of this home:

March 2010 339 The next day we walked through town to get a sense of the damage, stopping by to extend a dinner invitation to friends who had lost power. We were already planning to make the venison (a gift from my brother Frank, who’s a hunter). Our friends offered to bring along a uncooked duck breast that had been slowly thawing in their freezer. The pomegranate-orange sauce was the perfect complement to both of them, and it would work equally well on pork.

I marinated the venison tenderloin for at least four hours ahead of cooking, in a mixture of red wine, rosemary, juniper berries, black pepper and garlic. Just before cooking, remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Place a few tablespoons of olive oil in a black cast iron skillet (or other oven-proof pan), season the meat with salt and pepper and brown it on all sides. This will take only about five minutes or so. Then place the entire skillet with the meat, into a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on your preference. The venison in the photo cooked in the oven for about 10 minutes.

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While the meat is cooking, prepare the sauce. After you remove the meat from the oven, let it rest a couple of minutes. It’s best if you pour the sauce on the bottom of the plate, or serve it in a sauceboat on the side, because once you pour it on top of the meat, the meat will lose its nice pink color.

March 2010 360

Pomegranate-Orange Sauce

Printable Recipe Here

1 cup POM pomegranate juice

1/2 cup orange juice

2 t. balsamic gelatina (This is an ingredient I bought in Italy at Acetaia San Giacomo – but you’re not likely to find it here, so use 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar instead)

1 T. butter

2 oranges, cut into segments

Put the juices into a saucepan over high heat and reduce a bit. It may take 10 minutes or so. Add the balsamic (gelatina or vinegar) and butter. It doesn’t have to be as thick as molasses, just somewhat concentrated. Add the orange segments just before serving and stir in, together with any juice that seeped out while you were sectioning the oranges and cook for another few seconds, until warmed through. Serve with the venison.


  1. Una ricetta molto saporita, con un'eccellente preparazione, complimenti. Ho visto la foto dell'albero con le radici scavate; per fotuna che dopo la tempesta arriva sempre la quiete. Buon fine settimana Daniela.

  2. Sounds like a scary storm! But, your sauce sounds versatile and lovely. Great flavors for the duck too.

  3. mamma mia chissà che spavento, molto bella questa ricetta e davvero gustosa deve essere :-) ciao Ely

  4. All over our town there was damage like that.
    I worry about my 200 yr old oak on our front lawn, but thankfully, there is no sidewalk to compromise the roots. OUCH.
    (lovely venison dish!)

  5. Wow, That was quite a storm, those poor people! How nice of you to extend a meal to your neighbors. It's amazing that you never lost power!

  6. The meat looks juicy and the sauce they are tasty,I bet!

  7. How gorgeous is that? I don't have venison right now but I'll wager your sauce would be wonderful on a pork tenderloin. I'm so glad you posted this. I'm also delighted to hear that the worst of the storm missed you and did no damage to your home..

  8. I love, love, love this combination! May have to try this with one of the pork tenderloins I have in the freezer. It won't be as flavorful as the venison but I haven't clue where I would obtain that. Great combo!

  9. ciao linda mi diverto un mondo a curiosare tra le tue ricette questa DEVE Essere squisita Ho visto le foto dell'albero DEVE Essere Stato spaventoso un bacio Lucia

  10. What a lovely dish! The sauce sounds perfect with both the venison and the duck.

    What an awful storm. I'm glad that your power stayed on. A coworker who lives in Bergen County still is without power!

  11. Pomegranate orange sauce sounds absolutely perfect! I can't wait to try it out thanks for posting!

  12. So glad you weathered the storm! I am still hearing stories from my east coast friends and relatives.
    If I didn't have dinner getting ready to go - I'd make that tonight. Might even have some venison. But definitely this weekend. Love the flavors, love the ease and it's so pretty on the eyes!

  13. The Nor'Easter was terrible! My favorite parks lost so many beautiful and magnificent trees! So sad.

    I've been so busy since returning from Colorado ..I am very behind in blog was so nice to visit you tonight, Linda, and see this wonderful roast and sauce.

  14. Yum, of my fave of game meats. Compliments on tying the meat and cooking it to a nice pink colour.

  15. A fantastic dish! I love the flavor combo.

    A terrible storm! Thankfully that house didn't get too much damage...



  16. The venison looks amazing. Just stunning. I would be comforted to have neighbors like you. Glad you survived the storm.