Morel Sauce with Venison

4.71 from 27 votes
Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Chances are, if you find yourself with more than a few morel mushrooms, at some point you will wind up making a morel sauce. There are lots of variations on morel sauce, many with cream. This isn’t that. This is a morel sauce for steak, in this case venison.

Morel sauce with venison loin on a platter.
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

I do have another recipe for a mushroom sauce for steak, and I even did a video for that one, but this is different. A morel sauce, to me, needs to be finely minced because that spreads the morel flavor better than if you kept the mushrooms in large pieces.

Morels are, in my opinion, the best mushroom to pair with a red meat like venison, although porcini are pretty good, too. Morels just smell so… woodsy. That aroma, mixed with the dense richness of medium-rare venison, comes together to make the Cadillac of game dishes. I’d serve this to even the most jaded or discerning palate.

You can use fresh or dried morel mushrooms for the sauce, so you can make it all year long, not just in spring when morels are in season. And any species of morel mushroom will do.

Two morels in the woods.
Photo by Hank Shaw

Venison with morel sauce is simple, but not cheap. It’s a perfect date-night dish and is a great way to turn someone who might be squeamish about either venison or wild mushrooms.

I always use either the tenderloin or the backstrap of venison for this recipe; I find the leg steaks too tough for such a special dish. It also can be done with filet mignon or a ribeye if you cannot find venison, and hanger steak and even skirt would be nice here, too.

A morel sauce will work well alongside a perfectly cooked duck breast, too.

As for the morels, don’t skimp. Use even more than this recipe calls for if you have them. They cook down a lot and their flavor is really what makes this dish. It’s one of my favorite recipes for springtime!

If you are looking for morel mushroom side dish to make this a morel feast, try my recipe for morel risotto or morel mushroom tortellini.

Morel sauce with venison loin on a platter.
4.71 from 27 votes

Morel Sauce with Venison

Morel mushrooms and venison, bison, or beef are a marriage far more successful than most pairings between mushrooms and meat. This dish is simple, deep and delicious. But don’t skimp on the morels, or the quality of any ingredient: You will notice. You can sometimes find dried morels in supermarkets, or farmer's markets. You could also substitute shiitake mushrooms.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 1/2 pounds venison loin
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or canola oil


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 cup dried morels, soaked in water for several hours, or about 2 cups chopped fresh morels
  • 1 cup venison or beef stock or 1/4 cup demi-glace
  • 1/2 cup Port wine, or Madeira or Marsala or Amontillado sherry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • In a small saucepan, reduce the stock and the water you soaked the morels in over high heat until you are left with about 1/2 cup of liquid. Turn off the heat and set aside. Obviously skip this step if using fresh morels, and do not include the demi-glace, if using.
  • Take the venison out of the fridge and salt it liberally. Let it rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Chop the morels finely.
  • Heat a pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-high and place the fresh morels down on the pan to heat. They will release their water quickly. Let this simmer until the water is almost all gone, then add 3 tablespoons of butter and shallot. sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Remove and set aside. If you are using dried morels, you do not need to dry-cook them first.
  • Either wipe the pan down or use another one. Heat it over high heat for a minute or two and add the grapeseed oil. Heat this for 1 minute. Pat the venison dry with a paper towel and place it in the pan. Sear it for 3 to 4 minutes on one side, then flip. Let it cook through to your taste on the other side without flipping again. Look for about another 1 to 3 minutes, but I use the finger test for doneness. Remove meat from pan and set aside to rest.
  • OPTIONAL STEP: Roll the finished venison in morel powder or porcini powder as it rests, and grind some black pepper over it. Give it about 5 to 10 minutes, then slice into medallions.
  • Meanwhile, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and let it melt over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to combine to make a roux. Cook this for 2 minutes. Add the port wine and stir to combine. It will thicken immediately, and if it turns to a paste add the morel water-stock mix you reduced in step one. If it does not turn into a paste, let the port boil a minute, then add the stock or demi-glace. Add the morels.
  • Once the morels are heated through, lay the sauce down on the plates, then top with venison. Grind black pepper over all and serve at once.


You can double the amount of morels in this sauce and it will be even better. 


Calories: 487kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 897mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

You May Also Like

Pasta Primavera

Classic pasta primavera the way Le Cirque used to make it back in the 1970s: Angel hair with fresh spring vegetables and cream.

Wild Rice Hotdish

Can you get any more Minnesota than wild rice hotdish? Pretty sure you can’t. This easy comfort food casserole is a hat tip to the North Star State, and can be made “wilder” with venison and wild mushrooms.

Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

This is a simple garlic roasted mushroom recipe that works with any meaty mushroom, from porcini to shiitake to regular button mushrooms.

Mushroom Tortellini

When life gives you mushrooms, make tortellini out of them. I love these little packets of love, and making them with wild mushrooms is especially lovely.

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

4.71 from 27 votes (9 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. My man. Sooo good. Hard first day of morel season, but enough for this sauce and some deep fried tomorrow. I have a moose flat iron resting, morel risotto ready and the sauce just finished. Perfect. What a perfect day. Thanks for that. I would never have done this before I discovered your recipes.

  2. I’m not a mushroom hunter, but my local farmers market has a booth that offers cultivated mushrooms. Is there a non wild shroom you would recommend that would suit this dish?

  3. Very tasty with the morel star! My spouse gathered morels for first time so we got to cook with fresh ones! Easy to do in steps, served over WhiteTail tenderloin.

  4. Just had friends for dinner who are starting to explore more wild game cooking (he hunts and she’s the cook, but historically she’s not been terribly fond of venison until trying your recipes at my suggestion). He and I gathered a bunch of morels that morning and I pulled some aged venison straps to use for this recipe. It was money! They loved it and it’s on my all time favorites list now. I’ll attempt drying more morels to do it again. Thank you, Hank!

  5. We always have mule deer steaks on hand, and we always get at least some morels in the spring, and on good years we have dried ones on hand in the off-season, so we have done this a few times with both deer and duck. Another wonderful recipe when you want to do something special for a change.