Fresh Venison is some of the best red meat that you can put in your mouth. Not only is it a great source of protein, but it’s better for you than beef, pork, or even lamb.
It has a low fat content, that means low in cholesterol, and it’s recommended for people on a fat free diet. Cooking venison can be a challenge but today I’m going to give you my favorite recipe that’s simple and easy to do.
For me, the absolute best part of the deer is the Back Strap.
Back Strap is the piece of meat that runs along both sides of the back bone from the neck to the hind quarter. It is taken off the animal in one whole piece and trimmed of any silver skin.
Once trimmed it can be prepared whole or cut into steaks. I like to cut it into 12” sections and cook it whole. It’s easier to handle on the grill and is perfect for 4-6 servings.
Here’s how I prepare whole venison back strap:
First make the marinade for the back strap. It consists of:
Place the Back Strap in a large Zip Lock Bag and pour the marinade over it. Refrigerate it for at least 4 hours, but I like to go overnight if possible. The marinade needs time to penetrate the meat.
Next I make a venison rub. It consists of:
Mix all of the ingredients together well and it will keep for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Take the venison out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow the meat to come to room temperature. This will ensure even cooking throughout.
I like to cook the back strap over a 2-zone fire…
Pile the coals to one side of the grill and place an aluminum pan on the other. In the pan add some liquid for moisture. I use apple juice, beer, or beef stock. Plain water can be used but I like to go with something that has flavor.
Light a few coals in a charcoal chimney and add them to the pile. I also throw on a few chunks of wood usually cherry for some light smoke. Give the grill a few minutes to heat up and it’s ready to go.
Coat the back strap with a little Olive Oil, and then apply the venison rub.
Place it on the cooking grate directly over the hot coals and don’t touch it for 2 1/2 minutes. Turn it to the opposite side and let it go another 2 1/2 minutes. Do this for the remaining sides.
Now that all sides have been seared, move it to the indirect side of the grill. Check the internal temp after 10 minutes. Once it hits 130 pull it off the smoker. It needs to rest for at least 10 minutes, so loosely tent with aluminum foil.
As it sits the temp will continue to climb about 5 degrees and the meat will be a perfect medium rare.
After resting, you’re ready to eat. Slice the back strap into 1-2” serving portions. Most people will eat 2 cuts, but don’t be surprised if the whole thing disappears before your eyes. I’ve used this technique in exotic contest several times and had great results.
Now for those of you out there that don’t mind the extra fat and calories, you’ll love this recipe. I call it:
Take 1 trimmed venison back strap and slice it into 1” steaks. Cut each steak in half creating medallions (if it’s a large back strap you may be able to cut it into quarters) The idea is to have a decent bite of meat. Marinate the pieces in a large bowl or ziplock bag with:
While the meat is soaking for 3-4 hours, slice about 14-15 jalapenos in half long wise and remove the seeds. You may want to wear gloves while doing this…just a hint.
In a mixing bowl place 1 block of cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of Sweet and Spicy Steak Sauce (Country Bob’s, A1, etc…) Stir the mixture until combined.
Remove the meat from the marinade and allow it to drain. Fill each pepper half with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture and place a piece of the venison on top. Wrap each with ½ slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick (to keep the toothpicks from burning soak them in water)
I prefer to grill them over a Medium Hot fire just until the bacon is browned. It takes about 20 minutes. You can also prepare them on a smoker at 250 for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Just eyeball the bacon and they’ll turn out great.