Don’t have time to age your meat? Try this.
I had more than half a wedge of blue cheese sitting in my refrigerator, and I racked my brain hard on what I should do with it. Cheese is not cheap, and unfortunately, blue cheese is one of those items that I’d buy just to make one dish – usually salad – and the rest ends up in the trash because a little goes a long way. As far as stinky cheeses go, I draw a hard line in the sand. I can’t help that the aroma makes me think of old gym socks.
Maybe my palate will grow up one day, but until then, I was still stuck with a lot of blue cheese – leftover after Christmas Eve dinner because no one else was interested in it. Feeling bad about wasting this pungent delicacy, I began nibbling some blue cheese with leftover prime rib steak and to my delight, it tasted really good. It gave the meat just enough funk to make it taste interesting, but it didn’t overpower.
Blue cheese and steak go a long way back, so I’m not introducing anything new here. But what it did for this venison loin made me do a double take. I really enjoy dry-aged meat, but sometimes this is not possible with wild game due to weather, location or storage space. On the flip side, meat that is too fresh off the carcass lacks character. This blue cheese and butter mixture will help. If you’d rather not stuff the loin, roll the butter and cheese mixture into a log and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate it and use as compound butter over your steaks instead.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- 1 pound of venison loin
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
- 2 ounces of blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh chives, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine softened butter, blue cheese, shallot, chives, garlic and thyme.
- Remove all silver skin from loin and butterfly lengthwise, and then season the inside with salt and pepper.
- Fill with the blue cheese mixture, roll into a log and secure snugly with cooking twine.
- Season the outside of the loin with salt and pepper.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot and slightly smoking, quickly sear the loin for a nice crust all around.
- Transfer browned loin to a rimmed cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees for medium rare.
- Allow loin to rest for 5 minutes tented in foil. Remove cooking twine and slice to serve. ■