Tyler brought some frozen venison tenderloin and farmer’s market cherries (unfortunately not local) with him from Michigan on his first visit to our new home in San Diego. Here’s what we did with it.

Tender, juicy venison tenderloin pairs so well with juicy, sweet cherries.

  • Venison tenderloin
  • 1 lb. frozen pitted cherries, juice reserved
  • 10-12 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Quickly sear your tenderloin in a pan over high heat. Do not cook it, just let it touch the pan for a few seconds on each side, then set it aside on a plate.

Make a bacon blanket. Place it on a broiling rack in a 350 degree oven until it starts to cook but not get crispy. Flip it once.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in olive oil over low heat. Once they begin to turn clear, add 1/3 of the cherries, the juice from the cherries, and the balsamic vinegar to the pan. Keep scraping and reducing the liquid.

Chop the remaining cherries. When the bacon blanket is starting to crisp, remove it from the oven and cover it with the chopped cherries. Then place the tenderloin at one end and roll it all up. Return the pan to the oven for at least another 10 minutes; the cooking time will depend on how large the tenderloins are. We had two very small pieces (about 1″ in diameter) and ten minutes was perfect. At the end, turn on the broiler to quickly crisp the bacon.

Top the cherry bacon venison roll with the cherry onion balsamic reduction. Serve with a salad from the garden (thanks to my new neighbor for the tomato and red pepper!).