It’s that time of year again when you open your freezer and you realize you have an abundance of meat that needs to be used up before hunting season opens again. Summer is right around the corner, although it already feels like it has been here for some time already! So, today we are fixing venison backstraps grilled outdoors. Sometimes confused with tenderloins, these very special cuts are located alongside a deer’s spine on top of the animal, and because this muscle is not used as much as others, it offers a tender choice cut of meat that needs to be prepared with special care.
Trippett and I had a great deer-hunting season and for the first time, we harvested only bucks vs. does. Personally, I prefer the taste of does and my palate is quite good making the distinction. The flavor is a very personal thing, everyone tastes things differently and what’s ‘gamey’ to some people isn’t to others. When you take a buck during rut, you will feel like the meat is a bit gamey because the deer was most likely chasing a lot of does and hormone levels are very high during the rut.
We did, in fact, take several of our deer during the rut, so, I marinated the backstraps in olive oil seasoned with garlic and some red wine not only tenderize the meat but to help make it more flavorful and less gamey. This lean tender cut of venison is so high in protein and low in fat but it does need care in preparation to make sure it is not overcooked so that it does not dry out.
The simple method of grilling just requires a hot grill and a watchful eye so that you don’t overcook it. Right before the backstraps went on the grill, I put a generous amount of sea salt and peppercorns on the meat. I have read that putting the salt and pepper on too early can dry out the meat, so I wait until I am ready to get it on the heat. Grill each side for 7-10 minutes and then allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes so that all the juices remain, keeping the meat moist and tender.
Success! This recipe is so easy and amazingly delicious. We both thought it tasted as good as the best tenderloin we have had in the past. I paired up this meal with a nice bottle of pinot noir and the sides were a fresh garden salad, steamed artichoke with dipping sauce, and a sweet potato quartered and baked in the oven.
We have plenty of beautiful game meat, including turkey, pheasant, quail, venison, and wild hog in the freezer so I hope to post more recipes this summer! Hopefully, my fishing skills will provide some fresh fish as well! #ProisWasThere! #Camo365Girl #Garden&Gun
Maggie is a Hunt Staff Member of Prois Hunting Apparel for Women