Venison steak with polenta & vegetables grilled on a cast iron pan

Ciao, welcome back to my blog!

In this recipe, I am going to show you how to grill a delicious venison steak with polenta and vegetables on a cast iron pan, directly on the stove!

I first tried venison only a couple of years ago at a Christmas date dinner with Nic in a fancy pub in London and I really like it.

I have never tried venison in Italy but I have always been keen to taste new dishes to enrich my knowledge with other countries' cuisine.

For those who are not familiar with venison, Wikipedia explain:

"The word venison derives from the Latin word venor, meaning “to hunt or pursue.”

Following the invasion and the establishment of the Royal Forests, any hunted animal was calledvenison” after it was killed; because more deer were hunted than any other animal, the name stuck.

According to my local butcher, venison is in season from early November to December. For this reason it is very often the main ingredient to make delicious comfort food to enjoy during the Christmas holidays.

This winter, I decided to cook it myself but I wasn't sure how to do it properly so I did some research online and I opted for a simple grilled recipe, which is apparently one of the best ways of enjoying this kind of meat.

Venison Tenderloin is the cut that I was told to choose: it is the back-end, which is the most tender of all cuts.

I love cooking polenta in the winter as an alternative to pasta and rice, so I a big batch yesterday to reuse the leftovers today, as polenta has to be cold and firm to be able to grill it.

Grilled polenta brings me back to amazing memories of my childhood: my grandmother used to light the fire first thing in the morning and when there were only embers left in the evening, she would grill the leftovers of the cooked polenta on it.

Afterwards, she would slice some cheese and put it immediately on the hot polenta to melt. It was the simplest yet the most delicious winter meal ever!

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Tools needed:

-A cast iron grill pan

-Aluminium foil


-Two venison steaks

-A courgette

-A potato

-A bowl of cold cooked polenta

-A pinch of salt

-A tbsp of Lurpark butter

-A tbsp of truffle oil

-A clove of garlic

-Place the cast iron grill pan on the stove on high heat and let it warm it up for 5 minutes until it is scorching hot.

-In the meantime, prepare the vegetables. Slice them lengthwise: the courgettes should be cut quite thick as they burn easily, while the potatoes should be thinner because, being starchy, they take longer to cook, and for this reason, they should go on the grill first.

Grill all the veggies and set aside in a tray. Season them with chopped fresh garlic, a drizzle of oil and some salt and pepper. Cover with some foil to keep them warm.

-Slice the polenta (not too thin or it will break) and place it on the hot grill and let it cook for 8-10 minutes per side.

When it is done, set aside and season it with salt and pepper.

-Last but not least, place the room temperature venison steaks on the hot grill. A couple of minutes per side will be enough for a perfect medium-rare.

-Place the steaks in some foil and season them with salt, pepper, and the butter. Close the foil around it and let the meat rest for 8 minutes.

This process will make the meat super tender.

-Slice the meat and place on a dish or put it directly on a plate with the grilled veggies and the polenta. Add the last touch with some truffle oil, which will intensify the rich taste of the meat.

Enjoy sipping a glass of good red wine!

Would you like to try another great recipe with polenta?

Try this traditional Italian dish:

Rustic polenta and melted cheese bowl

Have you ever tried venison? What is your favourite way of cooking it?

Let me know in the comments below.

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