Venison Filets with a Cherry, Porcini, Port Sauce

Venison is a very lean and delicious cut of meat that pairs very well with the sauce for an elegant dinner party or a stay-at-home date night! The dried cherries will become plump and delightful after simmering in the sauce. The sauce can be made ahead that day and reheated when ready to serve.


1 cup of boiling water
1 – 1 oz. package of dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons of butter
¼ cup of finely chopped shallots
1 cup of tawny port
2 cups of beef broth
½ cup of dried cherries
2 tablespoon of cornstarch
¼ cup of water
4 – 4-oz. Venison fillets
¼ cup of olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh pepper


Boil 1 cup of water and add dried porcini mushrooms to reconstitute. This will take about 20 minutes. Strain mushrooms and rinse grit, reserving the liquid. Strain the liquid through a paper towel to remove the grit from the liquid and set aside. Using a large sauce pan sauté the shallots over medium high heat for about 1-2 minutes. Add the port and deglaze pan. Add the broth, porcini liquid, cherries and porcini mushrooms and bring to a boil. Reduce by about half. Make a thickening agent of cornstarch and water. Gradually whisk in thickening agent to boiling sauce. Sauce will not thicken until brought to a full boil.

Lightly rub filets with a small amount of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Grill filets over medium high heat, about 5 minutes on each side. This will yield a filet that is medium. Grilling time will vary depending on the thickness of the filets and your preference of doneness. When done remove and tent with foil and allow meat to rest. Plate fillets and serve sauce over filets or on the side.

Suggested Side Dish

I would opt not to have a side dish and use this as the meat course and have an appetizer and/or salad prior to the meal.  Because there are cherries, mushrooms and shallots in the sauce it will give you an impression that you are having a side dish with the entrée. 

Suggested Beverage

Try Real De Aragon Garnacha by Pagos Familia Langa (Calatayud, Spain), Lo Brujo GarnaCha Calatayud (Spain), Franciss Coppola Black Label Claret, Becker Vineyards  Claret (Texas), Becker Vineyards Prairie Rotie Texas High Plains Red Table (Texas) or Hahn Estates Meritage .

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