Marinated Venison Steaks with Sautéed Mushrooms or Green Peppercorn Sauce

Venison Steaks

Venison Steaks

By Cat, May 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

This last fall, I bought a share of a buffalo from friends who also hunt.  When my share arrived, it included elk and deer steaks from their fall hunt, in addition to buffalo.  I like venison but don’t have much experience with it, other than my Roast Reindeer recipe (for which I usually use either beef rib roast or leg of lamb, because reindeer – or its North American cousin, caribou – is hard to come by here).

One venison (Elk) recipe recommends marinating in an Italian dressing before cooking; another similar recipe adds a green peppercorn sauce; I’ve adapted both here.  Another option is to sear the steak, then deglaze the pan with brandy and herbs, adding sour cream to make a sauce.  I include my versions of each here.

I like the idea of the tenderizing marinade of this recipe, so will probably do that no matter which sauce I choose.

See also: 1. Beef, Buffalo & Venison Menu; 2. Roast Rack of Reindeer (Venison), Prime Rib or Lamb; 3. Vinaigrette Dressings; 4. Marinades and Grilling/High-Heat Cooking Tips for Meats

Marinated Venison Steaks with Sautéed Mushrooms or Green Peppercorn Sauce

This recipe is adapted from’s recipe for  Grilled Elk Steaks (1) (originally on RecipeZaar).  The Green Peppercorn Sauce is from cd Kitchen (2).

You can use a commercial vinaigrette but they typically contain GMO oils (canola, soy, etc.). I have several different vinaigrette recipes on this blog to choose from for different flavors. My favorite is Balsamic Vinaigrette, but feel free to experiment.

Keep in mind that the ‘wild’ flavor of venison is greatly tamed by other flavors in the dressing, such as spices.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 2 venison steaks
  • ¼  – ½ cup vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • wild or domestic mushrooms (optional)
  • butter or coconut oil
  • Optional Green Peppercorn Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp whole green peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp Cognac or brandy
  • Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Equipment
  • baking dish or pan
  • foil
  • grill or cast iron grill pan
  • cast iron skillet (for green peppercorn sauce)


  1. Prep: (Optional) Mince garlic; sprinkle a bit of salt over, then crush with flat side of knife blade until the liquid is released. Scrape into vinaigrette; set aside until ready to marinate.
  2. (Optional) Slice mushrooms, or prepare green peppercorn sauce. If you washed them, be sure to dry them well before cooking.
  3. Marinate: Puncture both sides of steaks with fork, to tenderize, then place in baking pan and sprinkle vinaigrette over them. Turn steaks to coat both sides.  Cover with foil or lid; marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, just before grilling, saute the optional sliced mushrooms in butter (or coconut oil), about 3 min (if you washed them first, be sure to dry them well before cooking). See reference (3), below, for more detail
  5. Grill: When ready to grill, remove steaks from pan and place on grill (or in cast iron grill pan) over medium heat 3 – 6 minutes on each side (depending on desired doneness, sprinkling with salt and pepper after turning over.
    1. Grill about 1 – 5 min/side depending how thick the cut and desired done-ness. My preferences are for “rare:”
      • More than 1″thick: 3 – 5 min/side
      • 1″ thick: 3 min for first side, then 2 min for second side;
      • ¾″ thick: 2 min for first side, then 1 min for second side; or
      • ½″ thick, 1 min for first side, then 30 seconds for second side.
  6. Serve with sliced mushrooms sauteed in butter, or green peppercorn sauce (following).
  7. Optional Green Peppercorn Sauce: Melt butter in cast iron pan.  Add peppercorns and brandy.
  8. Heat to boiling, stirring.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. See Serving Suggestions, below

Serving ideas

  • With sauce: Spoon sauce onto plates; set steaks into sauce and serve with seared asparagus or green beans, or braised greens.


  1. Grilled Elk Steaks   (
  2. cd Kitchen: Elk Tenderloin Steaks with Green Peppercorn Sauce (
  3. Tastes Better from Scratch: How to saute mushrooms:

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