Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lousy Month, Excellent Meat!

February sucks for so many reasons. Her birthday is on the 10th, Valentines on the 14th, and the 28th is our anniversary. Oh…my…aching…wallet.

My son came home from Indy yesterday to help ease the pain, I mean to join in the festivities. Since it was a special occasion it was time for me to thaw out the very best there is, venison backstraps.

This is the Tenderloin Au Bambi. The meat of all meats. Venison Filet Mignon, the tastiest and most tender of all cuts no matter which beast it comes from. This is the kind of meat that makes Ted Nugent’s eyes bug out.

Ted tends to get carried away. I am not a big fan of name calling but Ted will be Ted. He means well.

When friend and neighbor brought me a large box of frozen, vacuum-sealed deer parts it was a huge surprise to see these in the mix. All his kills were within ten miles of where we live, that means local corn and bean fed lusciousness. Thank you sir may I please have another? Most hunters are wiling to part with some meat but rarely, and I do mean rarely will a hunter share his backstraps unless it’s at his home for a special dinner. Venison backstraps account for about .5% of the meat from one deer.

Anyone can buy venison tenderloin, it goes for only $24. per pound on the internets. All things considered its most likely cheaper than the cost of hunting them unless you live on or have access to some very productive property as friend and neighbor does.

They look similar to pork tenderloins and much smaller than beef tenderloins. One can easily toss these on the grill, pay attention and end up with God’s gift to cuisine. I prefer a method that keeps them moist and protects the tender protein fibers from charring too badly. Of course, we want them to be rare so this helps.

Simply cut the muscle into 2-3” slices. Next let them soak in apple cider for about three hours. Start the charcoal, grilling over hot coals is the only way to maximize the flavor of Bambi’s finest.

Before grilling I like to wrap each piece in a strip of bacon and fasten with a toothpick. The bacon will take the char and the fat will keep this extremely fat-free meat moist. Pork fat rules!

Next up, venison chili. Recipe coming later in the week.


Dan from Madison said...

OH MAN. That is all I can say. I am actually very surprised that you got backstraps in the random package of deer parts - you are one lucky sob.

Dan from Madison said...

Although at this moment I have rib tips going, and judging from the smell in about an hour I will be in pork heaven.

So not too bad of a consolation prize.

outdoorgriller said...

That looks good I have never had venison before but I heard it is tender.If you want more grilling recipes or if you want to take a look at the collection of tips I have for grilling you can visit

Andy in indy said...

Man I can still taste that melting in my mouth. That is what I love about going up there to eat. If I was still there I would be 20 pounds heavier than I am now but I do miss eating that good. Great food!!!

Chris from Colorado said...

Looks like good eats Gerry. Told the wife about this blog, and she reminded me that she was raised on venison (and elk).

Now, a few words on Ted, Ted the musician. It just blows my mind, how Ted could play so beautifully on one of the greatest rock songs EVER, 'Journey to the Center of the Mind', way back in the 1960's, and then produce nothing more than three chord rock songs like 'Rat Snatch Fever' (even though I like it) for the next 40 years.

I read recently that when Frank Zappa and the Mothers had some gigs in Michigan in the 60's, Ted drove them in his van all over the place. Must have been some ride. BTW, neither Zappa nor Nugent were/are druggies or drinkers, however Zappa said nicotine and caffeine foods.

Gerry from Valpo said...

Outdoor Griller, much of the venison is not tender, that's why commercial processors make sausage and grind burger meat both mixed with your choice of beef or pork fat from about 50% of the deer. Round steaks and chops are both fine on the grill as you would cook beef. Other cuts are best in stews and dishes like pot roast. BTW, nice grilling blog!

Andy, come home soon and often as you wish.

Chris, what? You aren't a fan of "wango tango" or "wang dang sweet poontang"? Seriosly, I'm not a big fan of Ted's music either. Also, the term "venison" technically means meat from deer, elk, antelope etc.