December 13, 2021
Not all deer meat has to be ground into sausage to make a quick meal… and you don’t have to be anyone special for that to be true!
In our family, we process our game meat ourselves and one of the first things we take is the back strap. The back strap consists of two sections of meat — one of which is arguably the most tender and delicious on a whitetail: the tenderloin. Tenderloins are typically small cuts and almost always easy to work with. They absorb flavors well, and easily conform to any cuisine. There are so many ways to eat this delicious, versatile meat!
Our favorite way lately is one that our youngest member, “The Dub,”(13) created for the family. Both Keene girls claimed it tasted just like a steak when, in reality, they were eating medallions cut from a whitetail tenderloin!
Follow the recipe below for The Dub's favorite way to cook whitetail tenderloin and our favorite way to eat it!
1 deer tenderloin (half of a blackstrap)
½ cup Italian dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp. salted butter
1 sprig of fresh rosemary (or a tablespoon of dried)
Cast iron skillet
Before you do anything else, make sure all “silver skin” is trimmed from the
*Silver skin is a tallowy substance that acts as the connective tissue between muscles. It tastes about as good as Elmer’s glue and the texture matches that flavor. You’ll notice it looks like white filmy bits tightly connected to the meat. To remove, lift up each patch you see and slice your knife underneath it. Especially if the meat is chilled, the silver skin should peel off right away.
Put the meat in a freezer bag with enough Italian dressing to coat it completely — we listed about a half cup but measurements vary depending on the amount of meat. This will need to marinate for 2-3 hours.
After the meat has finished marinating, remove from the bag to a cutting board. Pat with paper towels to remove the excess marinade.
Cut the meat into 1 ½ to 2” medallions — about a serving size for each section. Salt and pepper both sides and it’s time to head to the skillet!
Lay the medallions side by side in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Now comes the fun part! Toss in two tablespoons of butter and let it sizzle. This will enhance the flavor of the meat and keep it moist through the cooking process
(it should look like a layer of dark brown about halfway up the meat). Tilt the pan and use a spoon to scoop the melted butter back over each medallion. By doing this, you are basting the meat with butter to bring out it's true rich flavor.
Add your sprig of rosemary and continue to let the meat cook until the butter has reduced to a dark sauce and a dark crust has just formed on each side of the steak. For a good medium rare steak, use a thermometer to read the temperature until it reaches about 135º.
To really enhance the flavor, cook down about a cup of sweet red wine in a sauce pan until it reduces by half or until it coats the back of a spoon. Then add a tablespoon of butter (duh). It goes amazing with the meat.
And by the way, that butter we had you add earlier? It should be a kicking sauce by now too.
That's it! That's one recipe we use for delicious back strap tenderloin. Let us know if you try it in the comments, or even tell us your favorite back strap recipe!
December 27, 2021
Looking for another awesome way to cook venison? This one is easy for any day!