Venison Backstrap Pan Seared

pan seared venison backstrap
pan seared venison backstrap. Ken McBroom

Pan Seared Venison Backstrap Recipe

Pan Seared venison backstrap is a delicacy among deer hunters the world over. It’s served in restaurants as well, but probably under the name venison tenderloin. The backstrap is the prized cut from most wild game animals and for many the greatest of rewards taken from the hunt. With the camaraderie among friends or alone time in the woods comes a recipe for good living. The anticipation keeps us working in our preparation until it all comes together and the hunt becomes the kill and the kill becomes the harvest. So many hunters stop at the kill and fail to enjoy the harvest. If your hunt stops at the kill consider this recipe on your next harvest and continue your hunt in the kitchen or around a cooking fire with others and introduce new people to the ranks of this great American tradition we call deer hunting.

pan grilled venison backstrap

I hear so many people say that deer meat is gamey, soak it in buttermilk or you won’t be able to eat it. All of these things I heard when I was a kid and I am still hearing it from people and seeing it on Facebook. The first thing someone replies when asked how to prepare venison is you got to soak it, usually in milk or buttermilk. I have never soaked venison in milk. Learning how to handle and prepare venison is your first step to enjoying the harvest.

The first step to great tasting venison is the aging process. I feel that this could be the single most important step to great tasting venison. This process is a science and deserves it’s own article, but research it and you will find plenty of information on Google.

Recipe For Pan Seared Venison Backstrap

When preparing your venison backstrap for the grill or pan, the lodge grill pan works great if cooking on the stovetop. You want to cut your backstrap about an inch thick. Backstrap, when processed properly, will create round medallions much like fillet mignon, only it tastes so much better.

Once your medallions are cut the sky is the limit on how to prepare them for the pan. One excellent way to cook pan-seared venison is to rub it with a little olive oil and place them on the hot pan. This is so simple yet it tastes wonderful. Try it you might be surprised how great it is. Cook the medallions hot and fast on both sides and always cook to medium rare for tenderness. Medium might be OK if someone just don’t like the red but much past medium and the venison will get tough and you will be agreeing with all those that say deer meat ain’t no good. Doneness is second only to aging when it comes to tasty and tender venison.

The Dry Rub For Venison Backstrap Recipe

While plain venison backstrap is delicious everyone has their own preference on taste. This holds true for your pan-seared venison backstrap. It’s your meat fix it any way you like it. Some like it with nothing but salt and pepper and others like it with cajun spices or their own dry rub recipe. You can sprinkle a little dry rub on your backstrap for that perfect touch of seasoning, but don’t think you have to drown the “gamey taste” with your spices. Venison isn’t “gamey” it’s just venison and it’s going to taste different from beef. To me, gamey is a negative connotation and doesn’t belong in the same sentence as venison.

Pan Seared Venison Backstrap Marinade

Another way to prepare your pan grilled deer tenderloin is with your favorite marinade. There are many marinades available today. Back in the old days and sometimes still, we used Italian dressing. For the pan seared venison backstrap in this photo, I used Sun Drop soda, soy sauce, and salt and pepper to marinade them for about an hour. Whatever marinade you like go ahead and soak them. Again it’s all up to you on the way you prepare your venison. Add a little dry rub to your marinated venison, if that’s what you like. Another easy marinade is Dale’s Sauce.

Arroser Your Pan Seared Backstrap Steaks

Arroser is the name used for a common practice used in high end restaurants to get that great glazed over crust and flavor in their steaks, chicken and fish and other dishes. You can add this technique to your venison steak recipes to get the same texture and flavor. By mixing herbs with unsalted butter melted in the pan with your deer steaks spoon the mixture over your meat. Use fairly high heat to get the butter sizzling. This hot butter melds with the spices you add and adds an awesome flavor to your venison steaks. I like to add garlic and rosemary. Fresh herbs are preferred but not mandatory. I have actually started to grow my own herbs so that I have them handy for recipes like this pan seared venison steak recipe.

Great Sauce

Whether you like steak sauce or ketchup by all means throw it on there. I hear so many people say that you shouldn’t mess up a good steak with steak sauce or another big one is tartar sauce on fish. I don’t care how bad a steak is I don’t use steak sauce and I don’t care how good the fish is I’m going to use tartar sauce. So enjoy your venison the way you like it and experiment with different ways of cooking your venison and you will ultimately enjoy the harvest and dream of your return to the woods to get more.

Leftover Backstrap Sandwich

If you have any leftover backstrap, which is not very often at our house, you might want to try a leftover venison backstrap sandwich. This is a simple recipe I discovered one day when I needed a quick lunch.

  • Slice your leftover venison backstrap into thin slices
  • Place the thinly sliced backstrap on a plate 
  • Lay two slices of cheese on top 
  • Warm in the microwave to melt the cheese

When you lay the thinly sliced backstrap on the plate make it about the size of the slice of bread you are using. Don’t worry if it hangs out the side of the sandwich a little. The cheese, when melted on top, holds the deer meat together. Using a spatula lift the cheese covered backstrap from the plate and place it on your bread. Add your favorite fixings and some chips and your set. Another great way to Enjoy the Harvest.

Check Out

Bacon Wrapped Backstrap

Venison Stir Fry Recipe

Pinto Beans and Sausage Recipe

About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.

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