Some hunters treasure trophy bucks with big racks. Some hunters just like spending time outdoors and enjoying nature. But if there’s one thing almost every hunter can agree on, there’s nothing more rewarding than enjoying a good meal of venison fixed up your favorite way. There’s fried deer steak, deer chili, deer stew, grilled deer kabobs and a whole range of ways to fix it.
But the prize of the harvest is the select cut off a deer — the backstrap. Deer season is over, but the benefits of a successful season go on. It’s time to consume your harvest and claim your prize.
Backstraps run along the length of the spine. The backstrap is one of the most tender cuts because the muscle itself isn’t really used. The more a muscle is used, the tougher it becomes. For the record, backstrap refers to a length of loin on the back of a deer like the ribeye in beef. Tenderloins, on the other hand, are the two strips of very tender meat under the loin.
In Louisiana, we use lots of ways to season and cook venison, but here’s a way to grill venison backstrap like a “Hard Core Carnivore” that is appealing and has trophy taste.
Place the backstrap on a piece of foil and sprinkle all sides with meat tenderizer, Montreal Steak seasoning and then a good coating of Les Pryles Hard Core Carnivore Black seasoning. This seasoning contains sea salt, spices, sugar, dehydrated garlic and activated charcoal. Pat it in with your hand. Place the meat in a Ziploc or vacuum sealing bag and pour one-half cup of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce mixed with 10 drops of Tabasco sauce over it, seal the bag and place in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to cook it, let it sit out about 30 minutes before grilling, remove meat and discard the marinade.
Getting fired up
Heat your grill up to 400 – 450 degrees. Before you place it on the grill, drizzle the entire straps with olive oil and then another good coating of the Hard Core Carnivore until the meat is black. A big backstrap should cook about 5-7 minutes on each side. Because none are the same size, use a meat thermometer and cook to medium rare, about 120-125 degrees internal temperature.
When finished, let the meat sit for 8-10 minutes before slicing so the meat will retain its juices.
Time to eat
Serve with french bread or rolls and a green salad. You can add sides like grilled asparagus or mashed potatoes for a meal if you like, but the more simple, the better. Slices can even be served alone on a tray as an hors d’oeuvre.
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