Let’s face it—venison is pretty tough.
And when you’re cooking for guests, you can’t always be sure how everyone is going to like the taste.
That’s why we put together a list of the best sauces to serve with your venison meal.
You’ll never have to worry about making a sauce again!
What Sauces Go with Venison?
The best sauces for venison depend on the type of preparation you’re using. For a hearty stew, try a richly flavored port wine sauce. For roasted game, we recommend a demi-glace infused with red berry. For steaks, we suggest a classic Marsala sauce, or perhaps a simple green peppercorn sauce.
This sauce goes great with venison because it offers a sweet and slightly tart compliment to the gaminess of the meat.
We recommend using it on venison loin or steaks, but you can feel free to get creative!
Blackberries are usually in season starting in early summer, so look for them then, but you can also find them frozen all year long.
The basic recipe for berry sauce is as follows:
- 1 lb blackberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until it reaches desired thickness (usually 20-30 minutes).
- Stir frequently to prevent sauce from burning.
- Serve immediately with your favorite venison loin or steak!
This sauce takes just four ingredients and about 20 minutes of simmering to make, but tastes like it took much longer.
It’s delicious on its own, but elevated by the addition of venison.
Here’s how to make it:
- First, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt 1/4 cup butter completely.
- Next, add 3/4 cup red wine (don’t use cooking wine!) and stir constantly until the mixture bubbles slightly.
- Then, add 1/2 cup brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Finally, add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is a bright, tangy sauce made of parsley, mint, capers, and anchovies.
While it can be made in a variety of different ways and with a variety of different ingredients, these are the most popular.
It’s traditionally served with fish or meat (you guessed it—venison is ideal!), but you can also use it as a dipping sauce for vegetables or spread it on sandwiches.
To make your own at home, here’s how to do it:
- In a small bowl, combine the parsley, mint, capers, and anchovies. Use a fork or your fingers to mash everything together until it’s well-combined and in small pieces.
- Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mash again until well-incorporated. At this point you can add salt and pepper to taste as well as any other seasonings you think would go well with the sauce—a little garlic powder or some crushed red pepper are common additions, for example.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Chimichurri is the ultimate versatile sauce and perfect for any occasion.
It’s perfect on venison and can be used as a marinade or a dressing, depending on how you make it (the quickest way to make it is just to blend all the ingredients together).
Its main components are parsley, garlic, chillis and herbs, and while you’re welcome to make your own, there are some great premade options out there.
Chimichurri is commonly used with venison in South America, where the sauce was first created by Argentinian cattle herders.
A great way to use chimichurri with venison is simply to coat the meat in the sauce before cooking it.
It’s also possible to marinate cuts of venison in the sauce for up to 24 hours before cooking, but take care not to leave it for longer as the acidity of the sauce will start to break down the meat.
To make your own at home, here’s how to do it:
- 3 big bunches of fresh parsley (no stems)
- handful of fresh oregano leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 tsp salt flakes
- 2 long red chilli peppers (deseeded and finely chopped)
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Blend everything together until well combined.
- Transfer chimichurri sauce into an airtight container or jar.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Another sauce that goes well with venison is mustard sauce, and it’s usually made by combining Dijon mustard with heavy cream and sometimes white wine, garlic powder, or some other ingredients.
It’s very easy to make at home if you follow this recipe:
- 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tablespoon of white wine vinegar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Stir all the ingredients together in a small saucepan over low heat until they reach the desired thickness—usually between 15-30 minutes.
- You’ll want to stir it regularly to ensure that the mixture doesn’t burn.
- This sauce is great for serving over venison steaks or sauteed loin medallions.
- It provides a little bit of heat while still allowing the flavor of the meat to shine through.
An old-world classic with a twist. Béarnaise sauce is a savory condiment with a unique flavor that pairs well with venison.
This sauce is traditionally made with clarified butter, shallots, but can be made at home with regular butter, white wine vinegar, and fresh herbs.
The trick to making it at home is to whisk the ingredients over a double boiler.
This gives the sauce its rich, creamy texture.
Béarnaise is best served with grilled or seared venison steaks and can be used as a marinade for venison burgers.
You’ve heard of the classic orange sauce for venison and pheasant, but have you tried plum and thyme?
It’s a sweet-tart sauce that brings out the rich flavor of venison without overpowering it.
The tanginess of plum sauce is mild, so it has a well-rounded flavor that goes with almost any cut of venison.
Venison is usually cooked as a roast, and many recipes call for a meat thermometer to ensure the meat reaches at least 160ºF in the thickest part of the roast.
However, if you’re cooking the whole thing in a roasting pan with plum and thyme sauce, you can safely use an extra-large fork to check whether it’s done: if the venison pulls easily away from the bone, it’s done.
- To make plum and thyme sauce at home, combine 24 dried plums with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar.
- Boil them over medium heat until they’re soft enough to mash.
- Remove them from the heat and add 1/2 stick butter and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme.
- Stir well or blend until smooth (depending on whether you want your sauce chunky or creamy).
Mushrooms have long been a complement to meat dishes.
Their taste and aroma make any dish more complete and rich.
Mushrooms contain many useful substances, so their use has a positive effect on health.
In addition to mushrooms, there are other ingredients that are necessary for proper cooking: olive oil (or butter), white wine, and cream.
To begin with, we need to prepare the sauce itself:
- To do this, cut a small amount of mushrooms into small cubes and pour them with olive oil in a frying pan.
- Fry over medium heat until ready (about 10 minutes).
- Then add white wine (1 glass) and simmer for about 7 minutes; then add cream (2 glasses) to the pan and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
- When the sauce is ready, fill it in a bowl or plate and place it next to your venison pieces.
One of our favorite things to do with venison is braise it in red wine sauce, but sometimes we like to cook it with a peppercorn sauce instead.
It provides incredible depth of flavor and a little bit of heat that perfectly complements the strong taste of wild deer meat.
Here’s how to make your own peppercorn sauce:
- start with a base of heavy cream
- add butter and green peppercorns
- brown the venison (we recommend cooking loin or tenderloin)
- once finished cooking, add brandy and flambée (gotta have that fire)
- return the meat to the pan, coat in sauce, and serve!
This sauce is traditionally made with a large bowl of mixed berries and lemon juice, but you can also make it at home by combining a handful of your favorite berries with honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cloves.
This sauce can be used in a number of ways.
You can grill it into your venison steak, or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce for venison skewers.
Either way, this sweet and spicy combo will leave your friends wanting more!
Cooking venison properly can be tricky.
We use this sauce to help you reap the rewards of the hunt, while still enjoying the tasty delicacy that is venison.
- Combine 1 cup red wine vinegar with 1 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon ground ginger in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Pour into glass jars and refrigerate.
- Cook venison steaks in a skillet coated with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until well done, about 10 minutes per side for medium rare.
- Serve with a generous drizzle of sweet and sour sauce on top and enjoy!
12. Teriyaki sauce
When it comes to venison, teriyaki sauce is another go-to.
The word teriyaki usually refers to a cooking technique where meat is grilled or broiled with a glaze of soy sauce and mirin (a Japanese rice wine).
Sometimes the meat is marinated in the mixture before cooking.
The result is a distinctively rich sweetness and saltiness, with a little bit of tang provided by the mirin.
Teriyaki sauce can be made at home by mixing soy sauce and brown sugar together, adjusting quantities to taste.
If you want to achieve the same tanginess as mirin provides, you can add some apple cider vinegar.
The sauce will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Here’s how I like to go about it:
- To use teriyaki sauce with venison, start by adding some to small pieces of backstrap that have been cut into cubes or strips.
- Stir-fry the meat until it’s cooked through, then add more teriyaki sauce just before serving.
Sweet chili sauce is a favorite for dipping, drizzling, and slathering that can be used in many ways.
Often used in Thai cooking, sweet chili sauce is made by combining hot chili peppers with red bell peppers and other sweet fruit like pineapple or mango.
It’s simultaneously sweet, savory, tangy and spicy – a true crowd pleaser.
While you can find sweet chili sauce at any grocery store, it’s also easy to make your own!
To make it at home, combine the ingredients in a medium pot and heat them over medium-high heat until they start to boil.
Then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and let the mixture reduce until it’s thickened.
This should take about 15-20 minutes.
Once your sweet chili sauce is ready, it will keep well in the refrigerator for up to one month! But we promise you’ll want to use it on everything before then.
If you’re not sure how to use this versatile condiment with venison, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
When using sweet chili sauce with venison, we recommend using it as a glaze for grilled venison tenderloin or as a dipping.
Blackberry Sauce for Venison: Recipe
This blackberry sauce recipe is the perfect compliment to venison, but can be used with any type of meat that you like.
The sweet and tart flavor of the blackberries pairs well with almost any kind of game meat.
This recipe takes about 45 minutes to make and will serve four people.
- 1 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 3 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tablespoon salt
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup, red wine vinegar, and salt and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- When the mixture has reduced by at least half add the blackberries and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the berries have completely broken down.
- You want to reduce this sauce as much as possible so it can coat your meat when you serve it.
- Serve hot or cold with your favorite game meat!
Cranberry Sauce for Venison: Recipe
This cranberry sauce is absolutely delicious, and it couldn’t be easier to make.
It also pairs really well with venison, so if you’re preparing a holiday meal with a hunter in the family, this is a great way to bring some sweetness to the table!
- 4 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (or to taste)
- 2 1/2 cups water, divided
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries, whole
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (or to taste)
- Add the cranberries and sugar to a large pot over medium heat.
- Stirring occasionally, cook until the cranberries begin to burst (about 10 minutes).
- Add 2 cups of the water. Keep stirring.
- After about 5 minutes, add the remaining water (1/2 cup), cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and orange zest.
- Reduce the heat to low-medium and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
- Be sure to stir occasionally so that the sauce doesn’t burn.
- Taste and adjust sugar as needed.
- Let cool before serving.
Port Sauce for Venison: Recipe
This port sauce is an amazing complement to any venison recipe, adding both sweetness and a slight tanginess that will make your mouth water.
Here’s how to make it!
- 3 tablespoons of plain flour
- 2 cups of beef stock (low-sodium)
- 1 cup of port wine
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- In a small saucepan, heat the beef stock over medium heat.
- Add in the balsamic vinegar and stir until dissolved.
- Bring the liquid to a simmer, then slowly add in the flour while whisking constantly.
- Continue whisking until the mixture begins to thicken, then remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve over your venison dish!
Mushroom Sauce for Venison: Recipe
Making a good mushroom sauce for venison is all about the ingredients.
We used the following:
- 2 cups of white button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups of brown button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup of red wine (drink the rest!)
- 1/4 cup of butter
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- thyme and rosemary, to taste (optional)
- To prepare this sauce, first melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and saute until they are soft and browned.
- Then add the red wine and salt/pepper/herbs (if using), and cook until the alcohol has burned off.
- Serve over venison.
What’s the Best Sauce for Venison Backstrap?
The best sauce for venison backstrap is a simple, elegant cream sauce.
The rich, creamy flavors of the sauce compliment the gamy taste of the meat while also giving you a refined, sophisticated dish that will impress anyone who eats it.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the heavy cream and water to a simmer.
- Add the salt and pepper and continue to simmer until the cream thickens slightly.
- Stir in allspice.
- Serve over cooked venison backstrap.
What Sauce Goes with Venison Burgers?
Venison burgers are a great way to enjoy the rich taste of deer meat in a classic burger format.
But you have to be careful when selecting ingredients, because venison is a strong-flavored meat and some toppings can overwhelm it instead of complimenting it.
Here are some sauces that work particularly well with venison burgers:
- Aioli sauce: a mayonnaise dressing with garlic and black pepper
- Jalapeno ketchup or mustard: These seasonings can balance out the richness of the venison without overpowering it.
- Mild barbecue sauce: Again, this sauce is sweet enough to complement the venison, but not so sweet that it overwhelms its flavor.
- Horseradish mayo: This adds a little spice to the meal without overwhelming your palate.
What Sauce Goes with Venison Meatballs?
It’s easy to forget, but venison meatballs are actually a very versatile dish.
If you’re looking to make them a little more exciting, consider some of these options:
- A sharp, sweet plum sauce
- A spicy and smoky barbeque sauce
- A creamy, rich Alfredo sauce
- A simple tomato-based marinara sauce
What Sauce Goes with Venison Sausages?
Mango chutney is a must-have with venison sausages.
The sweet and tangy taste of the chutney will bring out the richness of the meat, while also acting as a pleasant counterpoint to it.
If you’re looking for something heartier, you can’t go wrong with ajvar, the traditional Serbian sauce made from red bell peppers and vegetable oil.
The chunky texture and smoky flavor of this sauce will serve to highlight the venison’s natural flavors, rather than overpowering them.
What Sauce Goes with Venison Wellington?
The best sauces to go with venison wellington are red wine sauce, a port reduction, and a bordeaux reduction.
The red wine sauce is tart and acidic, which complements the meaty flavor of the roasted venison.
Both the port reduction and the bordeaux reduction are sweet, which helps tone down any gaminess in the meat.
What Sauce Goes Best with Venison Steak?
Generally speaking, the best sauces for venison steak are lighter and more acidic.
Venison is a rich meat, not dissimilar in texture and consistency to beef, but with a stronger flavor profile.
This means you want to complement it with a sauce that doesn’t overwhelm the meat itself or fight with its natural taste.
Consider jus bordelaise (a lighter version of the classic French sauce), a lightly pickled remoulade, or even a vinaigrette.
13 Sauces that Go with Venison
- Blackberry sauce
- Red wine sauce
- Salsa Verde
- Mustard sauce
- Béarnaise sauce
- Plum and Thyme sauce
- Mushroom sauce
- Peppercorn sauce
- Spiced berry sauce
- Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Pick any sauce from this list to serve with your gamey meal.
- Prepare the rest of your dinner.
- Be ready to munch in no time!