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Wild-Game Recipe: Smothered Deer Backstraps

Wild-Game Recipe: Smothered Deer Backstraps

What better way to share something unique with that special someone in your life than a delicious backstrap from your recent deer or elk? Game meat is very lean, so grilling it without some TLC usually yields something dry and tasteless. Here’s a way to bring out the distinctive flavor of your harvest.

Smothered backstraps is one of my favorite recipes. Basically, a butterflied backstrap is marinated in a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar with hints of rosemary Dijon mustard and fresh cracked pepper. Served under a bit of bleu cheese and caramelized onions, this will pass muster from virtually any game-meat skeptic. First, assemble the following ingredients:

2 Butterflied venison or elk backstrap steaks
Seasoning salt
Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 tblsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tblsp. butter
1 cup onion slices
1/2 tsp. white sugar
2 oz. crumbled bleu cheese

Directions:

  1. Season steaks with seasoned salt and black pepper, and arrange in a single layer in a large baking dish. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and rosemary. Pour mixture over filets, and turn to coat. Marinate for up to 30 minutes.
  2. While you are marinating the meat, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion slices in butter until soft, then stir in sugar. Continue cooking until onions are caramelized. Set aside.
  3. Preheat grill for high heat on one side, and medium heat on the other side.
  4. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place steaks on the hot side of the grill, and cook to your preference, turning once and checking with a meat thermometer. Rare is 110 to 120 degrees F; medium rare is 130 to 140 degrees F. When the steaks are almost done, move to the cooler side of the grill. Top each filet with a quarter of the caramelized onions and blue cheese. Close the lid, and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.


Serves two.

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