This lean, dark-red meat is tender and supple. You won't find any gamey taste here. Rather, venison offers a woody, almost fruity sweetness and a depth of flavor.
If this sounds more like a description of red wine, you're not far off. Venison offers a range of flavor notes similar to wine (it’s great fun to pair with your favorite reds).
Forget what you've been told about slow cooking venison. The tenderloin should be treated with care.
Think filet mignon, and slice it into medallions, then sear it hot and fast. Don't forget: keep it rare to medium rare.
Our venison comes from a group of small-scale ranchers in New Zealand who raise Red deer according to the strict standards required by the Cervena name.
Cervena is a trademarked appellation which certifies that all the venison with their label has been humanely pasture-raised, and 100% grass-fed with only minimal supplemental feed such as hay. The pristine pastures of New Zealand offer conditions that are essentially wild, but in which the ranchers can still monitor and protect the deer.
One of the Cervena standards is a rejection of steroids, growth hormones and antibiotics. Only in cases of extreme disease will antibiotics be administered, and then the animal is tracked and not allowed to be processed.
Cervena also requires that animals be less than three years of age at the time of processing, which takes place only at accredited facilities that are specifically licensed and regularly audited by an independent agency.
All of this focused care brings out the best in the venison; it is lean, consistently tender, deep red and full of sweet flavor.
Naturally low in calories and fat, yet packed with nutrients like iron, zinc and B vitamins, Cervena venison is a high-quality protein and one of the healthiest red meats available today. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, venison has about 20% less fat and about 100 fewer calories per 3.5 ounce serving than beef. It's the ideal meat to include as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
The venison tenderloin should be treated as a beef tenderloin; cooked quickly at high heat so that the interior remains rare to medium rare. It does not require the slow-cooking and low temperatures traditionally used for wild deer, so think outside the braising pan. The tenderloin does not need to be marinated or stewed to render it edible.