Plank Roasted Venison "Manhattan"

The fine folks over at Outdoor Gourmet were kind enough to send us a sample pack of their grilling planks. They sent Maple, Oak and Cherry.  Maybe it's the cold weather, and hunting season - but when I saw the Cherry plank, my thoughts immediately went to Bourbon.

Cherry and Bourbon just go together.  In a glass (with a dash of bitters and a scant swirl of sweet vermouth) it's called a Manhattan - so why change the name when they come together on a grill, over venison?

I made a Bourbon Butter  that basted the steaks as they cooked, then sliced and topped them with a Rosemary-Cherry sauce and voila, Venison "Manhattan" was born.

The planks add a nice smokiness to the quick-cooking venison.

For the Bourbon Butter:

1 Stick of Butter
1 Mini-Bottle of Bourbon (or more to taste)

Let the butter soften at room temperature, and when softened, whisk together with the bourbon.  Refrigerate overnight - or as long as you can.

For the Rosemary-Cherry Sauce

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Rosemary
1 Cup of Whole Cherries (Pitted)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 Espresso Balsamic Vinegar

Over medium heat, saute the rosemary in the olive oil until fragrant.  Add the cherries, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes, until cherries have softened.  Add the balsamic and simmer for 10 minutes more.  Puree the cherry mixture in a blender for 30 seconds, until completely liquefied.  Return to the stove top and simmer until ready for use.


1 - 2 lbs of Venison Tenderloin
Chipotle Chile Powder
Salt and Pepper

Soak the plank in water for at least one hour before grilling - about the same time the venison is set out to come to room temperature.

Preheat a grill to medium heat (about 400 degrees).

Sprinkle the venison with chipotle powder, salt and pepper.  When the grill is hot, put both the plank and the venison on the grill.

 The thickness of the venison will determine how long you seer the venison before putting it on the plank. Mine were thinner, so I seared them for about 90 seconds to get some charring, then moved them to the plank - grilled side up.

Generously put the bourbon butter on the venison, and let it cook for about five to ten minutes depending on how you like your steak cooked.  The steaks are now "plank roasting" and soaking up the delicious woody flavor of the planks.

Let the venison rest for a few minutes after removing from the grill.

To serve, slice the venison and drizzle with the Rosemary-Cherry Sauce.

I served this with a mashed sweet potato.



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