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Thread: What to do with venison backstraps?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    For my 40th birthday I became allergic to poultry. We did ham for several years, then just happened to get a deer right before Thanksgiving when my sister was coming from out of town. She makes the best fancy deer back straps I've ever had. It's a treat for her also as her husband doesn't hunt. We've served deer backstraps along side beef tenderloin and ended up with lots of left over beef tenderloin and no deer leftovers. You can skip over #1 (taters) but they go well with them. Had her send me the directions in an email. We grill the backstrap slices to med-rare to medium and serve with the fancy sauce on the side along with the taters for Thanksgiving. There's a 9pt and a 10pt hanging in the barn, so it looks like we'll be having it again this year.

    1. Potatoes:
    Cubed russets
    Olive oil
    Salt, pepper, rosemary
    Put oil, then potatoes, salt, pepper and rosemary in pan. High heat. Add 2-3T water and stir. Water will flash cook the potatoes and will pull out the starch to coat the cubes and aid browning.
    Once water is evaporated, potatoes should be slightly cooked.
    Continue cooking on Med-High to High heat to brown potatoes. Don't over stir or potatoes might break up--use spatula to flip or flip the pan.
    2. Venison:
    Key to all venison is to clean all the non-muscle tissue away and minimize remaining blood.
    Carefully trim all the fat and connective tissue.
    Rinse the blood out of the meat by rinsing and squeezing (like a sponge) under cool running water. Meat should lose some of it's color.
    Coat meat with olive oil. Season with beef bouillon (or salt), fresh garlic and pepper.
    Grill, roast or pan cook as desired.
    3. Sauce and accompaniment options:
    Cherry Port/Wine Sauce:
    1/2 Red onion or 2 shallots chopped fine
    1T Butter
    1c Dried red cherries
    2c Red wine or Ruby port
    1T Dijon mustard
    Cornstarch
    2T Butter
    Beef bouillon, pepper to taste
    Saute the onion/shallots in 1T butter until soft
    Add Cherries and wine/port
    Simmer until cherries are plump and soft, liquid should reduce a bit
    Add mustard
    If using wine (instead of port), may need to add some sugar or honey to adjust sweetness
    Thicken as desired with cornstarch--should be fairly thick
    Whisk in extra butter and season as desired
    Balsamic Wine Reduction
    1 bottle dry red wine (not expensive--cabernet would work well)
    1/4c balsamic vinegar
    Cornstarch
    2T Butter
    Beef bouillon, pepper to taste
    Boil wine until reduced to about 1 cup
    Add balsamic and cornstarch to thicken as desired--should be fairly runny
    Whisk in butter and season to taste
    Wild mushroom mixture
    Mixed wild mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, button, etc.) sliced
    Butter, salt, pepper, rosemary
    Saute mushrooms in butter until lightly browned
    Add seasonings to taste
    Last edited by Moleman-; 11-19-2019 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #42
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    guess if I didn't like the taste of venison id quit killing deer and spend the money I spend on hunting season on beef. Id about bet if anyone sat down and figured what he had into that 30 or 40 lbs of meat you get off a deer and what you spent hunting, shooting (guns and ammo) and processing if you don't do your own you could probably buy twice that much beef. Personally I don't kill anything I don't like to eat. Why would I unless im starving? By the way my backstraps are usually grilled. Marinade is Montreal steak seasoning (same as I put on a beef steak) and that's it. I butter fly them the long way and close it up and sear it on both sides on a hot grill then open it up with the center side down brushing on butter all the time im cooking it till its got a bit of pink left. As good as ANY beef steak short of a ribeye. My wife was not a venison fan when we met. Now she admits she just never had anyone cook it that knew what they were doing and now would rather have a venison back strap on the grill then a beef steak. WHY? because it HAS FLAVOR. You really want a "WILD" taste? Eat venison burger that you made yourself (or elk, bison, moose ect) for 6 months then buy a lb of store bought burger. It will about make you gag. When I run out of my own burger it takes many meals before I can adjust to store burger. My burger made form well trimmed lean venison with pure beef fat added and froze about immediately and thawed and used the same day. Or you can go to Walmart and buy beef that some old lady with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and that looses the band aid she put on her finger she cut yesterday cutting your steak and grinding about everything short of an anus up to throw into the burger pile. Then we can let it age for a couple weeks at Walmart and spray some red dye on it to make it look fresh. Personally I think those who claim deer has a wild taste are just for the first time tasting meat the way it should be. Drag it around on the butchers floor, drop some cigarettes' ash and maybe some spit from an underpaid angry butcher making minimum wage and let it sit for a week or two rotting and then you will have the flavor that is considered normal. I WILL TAKE THAT NASTY WILD TASTING VENISON ANY DAY!!! Now if you don't like venison and killing is what you enjoy. Go to the dump and shoot rats or try calling coyotes or maybe get some help
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 11-20-2019 at 08:46 AM.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  3. #43
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    This is something you might want to try.
    After removing the backstrap, I cut into 1 & 1/4" thick "steaks" then I stand it on end like a wheel and cut it in 1/4" thick strip while unwinding it like a pinwheel.
    You should end up with a piece of meat 1 1/4" wide, 1/4" thick and 8 to 12" long. Place a slice of bacon on the meat and roll it up sticking a toothpick in the end to hold it together.
    And cook on the grill or in the oven.
    Last edited by Hickory; 11-20-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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  4. #44
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions for what to do with backstraps.

    Mr Smale, I like venison roasts, stew, steaks and burger. That, provided it's cooked very done, the same as I like beef. I don't like pink, or juicy meat. I like venison when it's similar to beef, not when it's obviously venison. I've eaten other peoples venison and found that sometimes it will be almost indistinguishable from beef, and other times it's so strong flavored it's nasty. I am trying to learn why, and how to produce the former.

    So far I've eaten several roasts and steaks from this deer, but I haven't figured out yet which way the backstraps are acceptable. I don't have friends that are into hunting or preparing wild fare, except for one. He will eat venison regardless of how it tastes. I however won't. I don't like beef that is strong flavored, let alone venison.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    guess if I didn't like the taste of venison id quit killing deer and spend the money I spend on hunting season on beef. Id about bet if anyone sat down and figured what he had into that 30 or 40 lbs of meat you get off a deer and what you spent hunting, shooting (guns and ammo) and processing if you don't do your own you could probably buy twice that much beef. Personally I don't kill anything I don't like to eat. Why would I unless im starving? By the way my backstraps are usually grilled. Marinade is Montreal steak seasoning (same as I put on a beef steak) and that's it. I butter fly them the long way and close it up and sear it on both sides on a hot grill then open it up with the center side down brushing on butter all the time im cooking it till its got a bit of pink left. As good as ANY beef steak short of a ribeye. My wife was not a venison fan when we met. Now she admits she just never had anyone cook it that knew what they were doing and now would rather have a venison back strap on the grill then a beef steak. WHY? because it HAS FLAVOR. You really want a "WILD" taste? Eat venison burger that you made yourself (or elk, bison, moose ect) for 6 months then buy a lb of store bought burger. It will about make you gag. When I run out of my own burger it takes many meals before I can adjust to store burger. My burger made form well trimmed lean venison with pure beef fat added and froze about immediately and thawed and used the same day. Or you can go to Walmart and buy beef that some old lady with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and that looses the band aid she put on her finger she cut yesterday cutting your steak and grinding about everything short of an anus up to throw into the burger pile. Then we can let it age for a couple weeks at Walmart and spray some red dye on it to make it look fresh. Personally I think those who claim deer has a wild taste are just for the first time tasting meat the way it should be. Drag it around on the butchers floor, drop some cigarettes' ash and maybe some spit from an underpaid angry butcher making minimum wage and let it sit for a week or two rotting and then you will have the flavor that is considered normal. I WILL TAKE THAT NASTY WILD TASTING VENISON ANY DAY!!! Now if you don't like venison and killing is what you enjoy. Go to the dump and shoot rats or try calling coyotes or maybe get some help


    I buy a quarter of grass fed beef every fall, I ran out and grabbed a steak form Walmart... I had to throw it away, tasted nasty compared to the 2 week aged grass fed beef!

  6. #46
    Boolit Bub
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    Why would you hunt deer if you didn't like venison. Just to have a trophy or just to shoot something?

  7. #47
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    I'm not understanding how so many think you have to "doo something to make it less gamey". I hunt deer here from mid September until January and have killed and eaten deer from every month in between. I don't do anything special to it and it tastes great to me and my wife and boys (wife is picky as all get out, so if she doesn't have a problem...). Really makes me wonder what kind of deer you have where you're at, I'd a lot rather eat Kansas white tail that store bought beef.

  8. #48
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    Different folks like different things. Personally I can’t see why anyone thinks a raw tomato is edible, many love them. I order my hamburger med rare, to medium, my sister had to have hers cooked till it was black and hard. If op likes the roasts, I would recommend cutting the backstraps into roasts and not fight city hall. Fix it like you like it, will be really good roast! I shared my braised squirrel stew with my daughter, who shared it with a coworker. Her coworker loved it, and knew it was squirrel. Op might want to try braising a section of backstraps and see how that tastes. Will be well done but moist and tender, season to what you like. I vary from salt and pepper only, to Cajun to,,, well whatever I think might be interesting. I don’t want it to taste like beef, it’s been several years since I had a store fought stake that was tasty. Now a 40$ rare ribeye at Jimmy Kelly’s Is a whole mother story!
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  9. #49
    Boolit Master reloader28's Avatar
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    Mary, I would eat grass fed beef if I had to, but it doesnt compare with a good, fat grain fed steer.
    2 weeks would be pushing it for me. I never understood how someone can eat something like a 40 day or more aged anything.
    Just tastes like an old freezer burned piece of garbage I think

  10. #50
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    We pound it with a tenderizer, dredge in seasoned flour, then beaten eggs, then back into the season flour and fry.....makes ya wanna slap yo momma....but I advise not to as Santa Clause wont be coming to see ya!
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  11. #51
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  12. #52
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    I don't field dress my Deer. A lot of the bad taste starts when field dressing it and when you get it home some might hand it with the hide on for a couple days then skin it.
    When I get one down I take out home and skin it before opening it up and wash off any hair that might get on it. Hang it by the head and gut it and if you do get vile on the meat wash it right away.
    Split it and if the temp stays just above freezing and below freezing at night I will cover the halves with a cotton sheet to let it age a couple days then cut it up and in the freezer.
    The hair and dirty hands field dressing will soak in meat and give it a taste.
    Now this is when your close to home. If you have to travel , yes field dress it and stop at a gas station and put a couple bags of ice in it and get it cooled down.

  13. #53
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    yes mam!!
    Quote Originally Posted by MaryB View Post
    I buy a quarter of grass fed beef every fall, I ran out and grabbed a steak form Walmart... I had to throw it away, tasted nasty compared to the 2 week aged grass fed beef!
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  14. #54
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    yup me too rich. Ive never had a bad tasting deer. Ive had some big bucks that weren't as tender but still tasted good and made great burger. But taste bad?? Not a chance. I chuckle at those who think they have to age (rot) deer to make them taste like there Walmart beef or that think vension taste gamey??? Its game. Its venison Its not beef. Have to wonder if they want there fish to taste like beef. If vension didn't taste good to me I sure wouldn't go through all the expense and work of hunting and butchering just to get meat I had to hide the taste of. I see something wrong with someones need to kill something that he didn't like to eat unless its was effecting his life in a negative way. You sure aren't doing it because you need to feed your family because any hunter knows its cheaper to buy beef then hunt. At least for 95 percent of us. You can buy 30 lbs of beef for around a 100 bucks and have it packaged ready to eat. How many can say that about the venison they have in the freezer. Even doing crop damage shooting. We drive a 130 miles round trip every night and figure if we don't get a deer every two days we are loosing money and should be buying beef.
    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    I'm not understanding how so many think you have to "doo something to make it less gamey". I hunt deer here from mid September until January and have killed and eaten deer from every month in between. I don't do anything special to it and it tastes great to me and my wife and boys (wife is picky as all get out, so if she doesn't have a problem...). Really makes me wonder what kind of deer you have where you're at, I'd a lot rather eat Kansas white tail that store bought beef.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  15. #55
    Boolit Master
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    Always interest me when I see threads like this.
    No matter what the critter,fish,fowl the work starts as soon as it hits the ground. Get the entrails out NOW so it will start cooling.
    The only gamey or strong deer I have eaten was not tended to properly.

    I have had beef and pork that was just as gamey as a wild critter.

    Good venison taste like venison. There is the thing of where they came from as far as what the deer dine on. I am fortunate to be in an area there is grain available. I have eaten mule deer that was excellent fare along with antelope. Then again I have ate them that had a brushy flavor too.

    I see some that grind a whole deer up into ground meat for tacos and chili. I like both but wow what a waste of some premium groceries, make more tacos and chili than I could eat in a year. You come to my house as a friend, I have to think VERY highly of you to share my blackstrap or loin with you.

    As mentioned above a high fast sear with no more than medium rare.

    Other wise it is just like a brisket, low and slow.

    Folks say it taste like beef. Yes it can. You just can’t treat it as beef as far as cooking. The fat will not melt or render as pork or beef fat does.

    My son moved out on his own a few years ago. He was at his future in-laws house and the we’re cooking with beef. He called and was real concerned, he said the beef they were cooking stunk to high heaven. He described it to me. I had to laugh and remind him the only beef in the house for the last 20 years was a brisket for the smoker.
    He still dislikes store bought beef. He tolerates pork and fish from the store.

  16. #56
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    Another thing I've found odd is how many people seem to think all you can do with venison is make specialty meat out of it, jerky, snack sticks, mix it with stuff, etc. I like it as meat. I grind burger pure, eat a lot of stew, steaks, more recently roasts. Not big on highly processing it.

    As to ageing, I don't in the traditional sense. I usually field dress it in the woods, bring it home skin and quarter it and put it in a big cooler I have with lots of ice and it usuallt takes me a few days to get it all done at that point, I keep a lot of ice and flush it out with water a couple of times a day. This is more out of necessity rather than deliberately ageing it, but it makes me wonder if it has the same effect as hanging one?

  17. #57
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    have a nephew that shoots his two deer a year and makes it all into snack sticks and summer sausage. Its the only way him or his wife will eat it. Asked him at camp this year why the "heck" he doesn't just go buy some beef or even buy some summer sausage off the butcher who makes it for him. You could grind up dog and cat and make summer sausage out of it and even I wouldn't know the difference. I do make summer sausage and snack sticks and give meat to my son to make jerky. but I shoot 20 or more deer a year. I also have even turned entire deer into burger. but if I had only one of two deer a year I sure as heck would make the most steak and roasts I could out of it and with a cuber attachement on my grinder and a pressure cooker that means about 90 percent of the meat off a deer. Like I said I butcher LOTS of deer. What angers me is people who cut the front sholders and hind quarters off and toss the shanks crudely cut out the back straps and toss the rest. Many don't even bother with the neck. There is a lot of meat that could make burger that's tossed. I hear all the time that you have to trim venison to perfect red meat of its useless. Ever watch a butcher make burger and what is thrown in? Id be scared to watch the butchers that cut up beef for burger that's sold at Walmart and the rest of the chain stores. For one thing there sure not butchers and would probably loose there minimum wage job if they threw out some connecting tissue that had red blood on it. All the side meat, brisket, shanks ect on a deer can be ground into burger. Id bet 3/4s of even seasoned deer hunters toss it in the trash. Do I waste? Yup im guilty of it myself. What I wont bother with and the only thing I waste is organ meat and I don't trim between the ribs. In the past couple years though ive changed a bit. I at least take the hearts home and toss them in the burger pile and my old man will usually lay claim to a dozen or so livers from young does.
    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Another thing I've found odd is how many people seem to think all you can do with venison is make specialty meat out of it, jerky, snack sticks, mix it with stuff, etc. I like it as meat. I grind burger pure, eat a lot of stew, steaks, more recently roasts. Not big on highly processing it.

    As to ageing, I don't in the traditional sense. I usually field dress it in the woods, bring it home skin and quarter it and put it in a big cooler I have with lots of ice and it usuallt takes me a few days to get it all done at that point, I keep a lot of ice and flush it out with water a couple of times a day. This is more out of necessity rather than deliberately ageing it, but it makes me wonder if it has the same effect as hanging one?
    Last edited by Lloyd Smale; 11-22-2019 at 09:10 AM.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by reloader28 View Post
    Mary, I would eat grass fed beef if I had to, but it doesnt compare with a good, fat grain fed steer.
    2 weeks would be pushing it for me. I never understood how someone can eat something like a 40 day or more aged anything.
    Just tastes like an old freezer burned piece of garbage I think
    Properly aged beef is awesome stuff! Done wrong? Yeah it tastes like crap! This butcher does meat cutting for a high end restaurant in Minneapolis so he knows how to age beef!

  19. #59
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    We skin them always within 4 hrs of the kill. Then we wash the blood out of the chest cavity. Saw down centerline (just like a cow). The saw part I usually do at least 4 hrs after skinning so the fat can solidify -- it cuts so much easier. Then hang and cut up.
    Yes venison has a flavor different than beef, but if I aim before I pull the trigger, gut properly, clean properly(lot to this item, the more care you take here the better the quality of end product), it is very good to my taste.
    If blood is dried on surface or guts are spilled -- shave that off and discard, along with the jelled blood around wound channel and bone fragments.

  20. #60
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    An obvious thing you could do is trade it for a beef loin. Im sure you could find many takers locally. Probably even end up with more meat that way.
    Backstrap/loin is prized because it is tender and juicy, pretty much what you dont like in meat "well done and dry" if you are set on keeping it, seems you like roasts, turn it into a roast, i did this to some before i learned to properly trim legs out.

    I cant really offer much advice other than that, cause i like steak medium rare and juicy, marinated in allegro. Ive never purposly cooked any red meat well done and dry, try to avoid doing that like the plague.
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

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