Grilled Venison Loin with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Grilled Venison with Horseradish Sauce

Here, the loin, the most tender part of the deer, is cooked rare to medium rare, preferably over a hot, smoky grill. Acidic crème fraîche or sour cream cuts the richness of the venison, and the horseradish adds quick heat.–Jesse Griffiths

LC Jesse Griffiths Note

We’ve something of a crush on author Jesse Griffiths, and it has everything to do with his book Afield, an indispensable textbook-cum-cookbook for all things pertaining to game. Luckily for us—and for you—Griffiths takes it one step farther than mere print by creating video cooking snippets for this particularly lean meat that he deems particularly tricky for newbies. Take this technique for grilling venison loin that couldn’t be simpler. Or more straightforward. Or more sophisticated. In the video he explains how to remove the silver skin, why venison is so darn easy to overcook, and what to do to elude an overly gamey taste. Many thanks, Griffiths, not just for this cooking lesson, but for the other tricks we learned from you and your book, including the notion of mixing minced bacon into Venison Burgers to ensure things remain ridiculously juicy, and the foolproof, flavor-imbued, crowd-pleasing party recipe for Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos. We sorta feel like we have you looking over our shoulder each time we cook game. And that’s a good thing.

Grilled Venison Loin with Horseradish Cream Sauce

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
Print RecipeBuy the Afield cookbook

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  • For the venison loin
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds venison loin, trimmed of all silver skin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, savory, and/or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • For the horseradish cream sauce
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated or prepared horseradish, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • Salt to taste


  • Grill the venison loin
  • 1. Season the meat with the salt and pepper. In a small bowl, mix the herbs with the oil and spread all over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • 2. Make a hot fire in a charcoal grill or set a gas grill on high heat.
  • 3. Grill the meat, without moving it, until nicely browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Then rotate the venison 90° and leave it for just a minute to make grill marks. Flip the loin and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more, again rotating the venison if desired. You want to aim for a good, deeply charred outside but a nice and rare inside. This ought to happen after just 10 minutes total cooking. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes while you make the sauce.
  • Make the horseradish cream sauce
  • 4. Mix the crème fraîche, horseradish, chives, lemon juice, and zest together in a small bowl, and season with salt.
  • To serve the venison loin
  • 5. Thinly slice the loin against the grain, pile it onto plates or a platter, and serve with the horseradish cream sauce.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

We eat a lot of venison, so I’m always looking for a good recipe. This one was easy and tasty. The timing was perfect, as the venison was just past rare (if you overcook venison it quickly becomes tough). After 6 hours, the flavor of the rub was still very mild, so next time I’ll let it sit overnight to have a little more flavor from the herbs. The sauce was lovely, not overpowering—a nice complement to the meat. So many venison marinades use Worcestershire, garlic, or bacon, so this was a nice change.

I’ve never been much of a fan of venison, but this recipe won me over. I only put parsley on it, so I’m reviewing the pure taste of venison and the cooking technique; the meat was so mild that I really wanted seconds—okay, thirds. With or without the horseradish cream, this can be served to family or guests to rave reviews.


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