As hunters, we are forever grateful when we can fill our freezers with venison. However, usually after the third or fourth round of venison burger, we are looking to get creative with the rest of our harvest! One of my family’s favorite winter recipes is a slight twist on the typical Beef Wellington. Although usually made with beef tenderloin, using ground venison is a wonderful way to shake up this already delicious classic.
- 1½ pound ground venison w/ no added fats
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped, and then caramelized in a pan
- ½ package of baby portabella mushrooms sliced (wild edible mushrooms could also be substituted in this recipe).
- 2 large handfuls of fresh baby spinach rinsed and chopped
- 5 fresh sprigs of Italian parsley rinsed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon of a coarse salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoning salt (you can substitute with Cavenders All Purpose Greek Seasoning)
- 1-2 scrambled egg whites – for egg wash
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 sheets puff pastry dough
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Strawberry jam & mint jelly (or any other fruit or sweet jam/jelly/preserve)
- Thaw ground venison.
- On top of a sheet of parchment paper, sprinkle some flour, then lay puff pastry sheets side by side on a flat counter surface.
- Slightly coat one of the puff pastry’s edges with egg wash. Overlap puff pastry sheets by roughly a half-inch and press together with hands.
- Dice and then heat onions until golden brown in a sauté pan on medium heat (~ 5-10 mins). Add diced mushrooms and continue sautéing until soft. (~3-4 mins)
- Mix venison, onions & mushrooms, spinach, parsley, and all seasonings into a bowl. Knead and mix as you would for a hamburger mixture.
- Once kneaded, form ground venison mixture into a tube/cylinder shape on top of your pastry sheet. This tube should be roughly 2-3 inches in diameter and the length of your two pastry sheets combined.
- Coat the sides of the ground venison in Dijon mustard. You can use a basting brush or a butter knife to coat the roll.
- Then begin rolling your Wellington in the puff pastry. Go slowly as to not rip the pastry sheet. You can use the parchment paper to help you wrap the venison in puff pastry. Roll the ground meet until it is covered entirely. Use the entire puff pastry until the ground venison is rolled into the pastry like a blanket.
- Trim any excess pastry on the ends off so the meat is exposed. NOTE: If you are not making a wreath and merely a traditional Wellington, fold the ends of the pastries down and cover the ends of the meat entirely. Then jump ahead to step 15.
- With a large knife begin diagonally cutting the *loin* roughly every one to two inches. Pick one long edge of the Wellington to be the center of your wreath. Leave half-inch to one-inch space along the entirety of the long edge of the *center* side of what will be your wreath UNCUT. See picture below of what your wrapped pastry Wellington should look like after you have diagonally cut it.
- After slicing the Wellington lift parchment paper into whatever large baking dish, you are using. Place a small circular oven safe bowl or baking dish in the center of your baking dish & next to the Wellington. You can also use aluminum foil to create a circular space for your wreath
- Then shape the Wellington around the smaller circular bowl/dish and form your wreath. Separate the precut sections carefully as you do this. Use any excess puff pastry dough to wrap and cover any rips or tears in your Wellington.
- Once you have created a circle out of your venison Wellington. Take each pre-cut section and slightly twist it up so that the ground venison mixture is facing tilted upwards.
- Coat pastry with egg wash.
- Sprinkle Everything Bagel Seasoning onto the top of your pastry wreath.
- Place in oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 45 – 60 min. Check on the Wellington at 20 mins and use a paper towel to soak up extra broth that will come from the ground venison. Adjust cooking time to your oven range and capacity.
- The Wellington will be done when the ground meat looks browned and the pastry looks golden and glazed.
- Allow wreath to cool, then garnish with more parsley or winter evergreen sprigs and cranberries or raspberries. Serve with sweet fruit jams in the center.
This delightful meal is best served surrounded by friends and/or family while telling hunting stories. Enjoy!