Recipes in Outside Louisiana
Grilled Venison Taco Salad
Combining grilled venison backstrap with hot salsa is a match made in heaven. I love the spicy flavor of Mexican style food, and making it at home is alot easier than you think. Here is recipe for a taco salad that you can make right in your own kitchen, even you don't have a clue what 'adios, amigo' means!
What you'll need:
Venison backstrap, about 1 pound
Melted queso cheese
Corn tortillas, large size
Montreal Steak Seasoning or Mojo Criollo Marinade
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Vegetable oil for frying
Mesquite wood chunks
The first step for this recipe is to decide how you would like to season the venison. I would absolutely recommend marinating the venison in Mojo Criollo to get that southwestern flavor. To do this, simply place the vension in a large ziploc bag or large covered dish with the Mojo Criollo and let it marinate refrigerated for at least 2-3 hours, overnight is even better. For this cook I used the olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning, which requires that you take the vension out of the refrigerator about an hour prior to cooking, brush lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with a liberal amount of Montreal Steak Seasoning. Normally I would do the Mojo, but we decided to do this for dinner too late in the day to marinate. I used an array of backstrap pieces that I had in the freezer, from large chunks to thin slices. But I would recommend a medium sized loaf sliced into steaks or medallions about 1-2 inches thick.
Start the grill by building a hot, searing fire, around 500-600. In my Weber Kettle, this would be a full chimney of lump charcoal, plus about another full chimney unlit in the grill. Bank it on one side to create a hot and cool side. When the fire is ready, sear the venison directly over the coals for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the slices. After searing, move to cool side and let cook for about 5-7 more minutes, depending on the thickness and the level of doneness that you desire. The slices that I show here are mostly 1/2 thick on average, and this cooking time yielded medium rare to medium, which is perfect for me.
When the venison is done cooking, place it in a large bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it rest for 10 minutes to juice up. To make the taco shells, pour the vegetable oil into a deep pot and heat to 350 degrees, or use a deep fryer. I cannot give you the exact amount of oil to use, as I don't know what size pot you will be using. But as a rule of thumb, you want to use enough oil so that you have about 4-5 inches from the surface of the oil to the bottom of the pot. When the oil has reached 350, place a corn tortilla into the oil and push down on the center of it with a ladle. Continue to push in on the center and around the bottom edges, working the tortilla into a bowl shape.
When the shell is lightly golden and crisp, remove from the oil and drain upside down on a paper towel.
Slice the venison, add the lettuce and tomato and top off with some melted queso cheese, fresh cilantro and some my wife's Garden Fresh Hot Salsa (here is a link-http://www.oldwoodfiregrill.com/?page_id=537).