Venison Wellington
Executive Chef Mark Fontana ~ Bogey’s at Stone Creek    
                                Makanda, Illinois
TIP: Dried mushrooms should be saved for one reason. The dead of winter--January is perfect--is the time to open those air-tight jars filled with last year’s wild harvest and dig in. The mushroom filling for this classic tenderloin dish can be made with morels, Black Trumpets, Meadow Mushrooms or almost any fragrant wild mushroom you were disciplined enough to preserve for this moment.
TIP: The thing to know about venison is that much of what hunters pack into freezers in November is lost to the frost by spring. The most delicious venison never lasts beyond January in ordinary freezer paper, although it’s technically edible for many months afterward. It makes mid-January the perfect time to select that finest cut of venison from the freezer, open the jars of your best mushrooms and celebrate what you’ve been waiting for.
Venison is best served medium rare. Yet most authorities on food safety urge the cooking of all wild game until it is well done. Still, many chefs cook venison medium rare anyway, to preserve the lean, tender essence of perfect venison. This is a classic, pastry-wrapped dish for beef--made here with the perfect cut of venison, a wild mushroom filling, and served with an intoxicatingly drinkable Bordelaise sauce.