Pan Seared Venison with Drunken Figs, Garlic Confit Grits and Grilled Squash Blossoms

Serves 4

When Jason Brady graduated from LSU with an accounting degree, he made an unexpected and major life decision. Instead of entering the thrilling world of accounting, Jason decided to follow his passion and move to Charleston, S. C., to study the culinary arts at Johnson & Wales.

After completing his education at the prestigious culinary school, Jason moved back to Shreveport and helped open Superior Steakhouse, an experience that inspired him to open a restaurant of his own and begin building a brand.

Wine Country Bistro became Jason’s flagship restaurant and serves American bistro-style food with a French flare and an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. For Jason, supporting locally-grown food is more than just a business philosophy, it’s a way to drive economic development across Shreveport-Bossier City.

Jason’s hard work and dedication have made Wine Country Bistro one of the premier restaurants in the area. He was gracious enough to provide SB Magazine readers with a recipe from his own kitchen.

Jason Brady, chef/owner of Cadre Hospitality Group in Shreveport, which includes Wine Country Bistro, Zocolo Eatery, and Southern Fork Catering, prepared the following dish which is 100 percent local, including squash blossoms from his garden at Hiccup Ranch that supplies the restaurants with local produce.

Venison Tenderloin


Stone Ground Grits

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh ripe figs (the riper the better)
  • 1 ½ cup cognac
  • 1 ½ pounds venison tenderloin (a.k.a. white-tail backstrap) cut into 4 steaks
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 bunch of thyme
  • 8 pods garlic
  • 2 cups cooked stone ground grits (cooked with chicken stock and milk)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 16 zucchini squash blossoms
  • 4 ounces demi glace

Directions

  1. The day before cooking, prepare figs by soaking them in cognac over night.
  2. Toss the venison tenderloins in EVOO and then coat them with thyme and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cover the garlic pods in olive oil and simmer over med-low heat until garlic is soft all the way through. Strain the garlic out and reserve the oil for later.
  4. Warm grits up over low heat and fold in the garlic confit.
  5. Place the figs and liquid in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the liquid down to a syrup and whisk in cold butter slowly. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Season venison with salt and sear in reserved olive oil. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and baste the meat as it sears. You want a very crisp caramelized sear on the tenderloin. This takes about 2-3 minutes per side depending on your preference of temperature. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile drizzle EVOO on the squash blossoms and season with salt and pepper. Grill on high heat for about 30 second on each side. Remove.
  8. To assemble, spoon grits on plate and layer the sliced tenderloin on top. Drizzle fig sauce on top of meat. Place blossoms on side. Garnish with demi and chives if desired.

Voila!sample