Hunting season has begun, and with it comes the temptation to partake in some of that freshly caught deer meat! If you’ve brought down a big buck during your hunt, chances are one of its prime cuts is the backstrap – a long strip loin commonly referred to as “venison medallions.” Backstraps may be intimidating for some beginners because they require special cooking techniques. But don’t worry; we’re here to help. In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about how to cook the backstrap of a deer so that you can whip up an exquisite meal for all your hunting buddies.
What is backstrap of a deer?
Backstrap is a cut of meat from the loin area between the shoulder and leg of the deer. It is considered one of the most flavorful cuts of venison because it has a high fat content, which makes it so tender. It is usually sold in two sections – the top portion is known as “medallions,” while the bottom piece is referred to as the “tenderloin.” The medallions are usually thicker than the tenderloin, and they have a more robust flavor.
Nutritional value of backstrap of a deer
Backstrap is a great source of lean protein, with 23 grams present in a 3-ounce serving. It also contains nearly zero carbohydrates and an impressive 13 grams of fat, which makes it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake. Backstrap is rich in B vitamins, particularly B12, as well as minerals like zinc and phosphorus.
Preparing backstrap of a deer for cooking
Before you begin cooking, it’s important to make sure that the backstrap is properly prepared. Start by cleaning off any of the fat or connective tissues on the surface of the meat with a sharp knife. Next, cut away any silver skin and tendons using kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Finally, slice the top portion into medallions about one inch thick and the bottom portion into tenderloin pieces about half an inch thick.
Ingredients needed to cook backstrap of a deer
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice (optional)
How to cook the backstrap of a deer?
On the grill:
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 400°F).
- Place the medallions on the grill and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of about 145°F.
- Remove from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
In an air fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Place the medallions in the basket of the air fryer and cook them for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of about 145°F.
- Remove from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
In the stovetop:
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Place the medallions in the skillet and season them with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the medallions for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of about 145°F.
- Remove from the heat and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. (You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice for additional flavor.)
How long to cook the backstrap of a deer?
When cooking the backstrap of a deer, you want to make sure that it is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of about 145°F. To achieve this, you should cook the medallions for 3 to 4 minutes per side on the grill or in a skillet, 8 to 10 minutes in an air fryer, or until they reach your desired level of doneness.
Factors that affect the cook time for a deer backstrap
The cook time for a deer backstrap can vary depending on several factors, including the thickness of the medallions, the type of cooking method used, and the heat setting of your grill or stovetop. For example, if you are grilling thicker medallions at higher heat settings (such as 400°F), it may take longer to reach an internal temperature of 145°F. However, if you are cooking thinner medallions on a lower heat setting (such as 375°F), it will take less time to cook them through.
Tips to make sure your deer backstrap is cooked correctly
After knowing how to cook the backstrap of a deer, we will provide some tips to make sure you get the perfect result:
- Invest in a meat thermometer to make sure the backstrap reaches an internal temperature of 145°F.
- Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to remove any fat, silver skin, or connective tissues from the surface of the meat before cooking.
- Make sure you season the medallions with salt and pepper before cooking, as this will help to bring out their flavor.
- Let the medallions rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to settle and redistribute throughout the meat.
- If you are grilling, make sure your grill is preheated before adding the medallions so they don’t stick.
By following these steps, you can be confident that you are cooking the backstrap of a deer to perfection. With its tender texture and robust flavor, this cut of venison is sure to be a hit with all your hunting buddies.
Serving suggestions for backstrap of a deer
Once you have cooked your backstrap of a deer, it’s time to get creative with the serving suggestions! Here are some ideas for how to enjoy this delectable cut of venison:
- Serve with steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes for a classic combination.
- Add to salads and pasta dishes for an extra dose of protein.
- Serve as an appetizer with a tangy BBQ sauce or a creamy horseradish dip.
- Slice into strips and eat them as is, either cold or at room temperature.
- Make deer tacos by wrapping the medallions in warm tortillas with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese.
- Try your hand at venison burgers by forming the meat into patties and grilling them to perfection.
How to store leftover backstrap of a deer?
If you have any leftover backstrap, make sure to store it properly in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. It should stay fresh for up to 3 days. To freeze leftovers, wrap them tightly in foil or plastic wrap and place them inside a sealed container or zip-top bag. Frozen backstrap should be good for up to 6 months.
Conclusion: How to cook the backstrap of a deer?
Cooking the backstrap of a deer is simple and straightforward with these tips. Start by preparing the meat and add your favorite seasonings for extra flavor. Grill, air fry, or cook in a skillet until your desired level of doneness has been reached (145°F). Serve alone or with sides and toppings of your choice. Leftovers can be stored in a refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months. With these steps, you’ll be able to enjoy the succulent flavor of deer backstrap any time you’d like.
FAQ: Backstrap of a deer
How many calories are in a deer backstrap?
Discover the calorie count of deer backstrap with USDA data. A 3.5-ounce serving size offers a modest 150 calories and a mere 2.4 grams of fat. With meticulous trimming, you may even reduce this figure further.
Can you eat deer backstrap medium-rare?
Enjoy the succulent taste of medium-rare deer backstrap. With its incredibly low fat content, this cut is best served with a pink center. To achieve perfection, aim for an internal temperature of 57°C/135°F using a meat thermometer. Get ready for a mouthwatering experience like no other.
Is deer backstrap like steak?
Despite lacking the marbling found in beef steaks, deer backstrap still boasts a rich flavor and tender texture. With the right seasoning, this cut can be just as mouthwatering as steak. Prepare to be hooked for life after experiencing the captivating taste of this authentic wild delicacy.
What does deer backstrap taste like?
Curious about the flavor of deer backstrap? When discussing its taste and texture, it is commonly described as rich or earthy. This meat possesses a delightful festiveness, showcasing notes of acorns, sage, and herbs that the deer consumed. While it may not be as juicy and tender as beef, it does offer a smoother and firmer consistency.
Why is my deer backstrap tough?
If you’ve ever wondered why your fresh deer backstrap turned out tough, we have the answer. According to butcher expert Cihelka, freshly butchered venison can be super tough, especially when it is in rigor mortis. Rigor mortis is when the animal’s muscles stiffen, making the meat tough to chew. However, there is a simple solution. By properly hanging the animal, you can prevent the muscles along the spine from shortening, resulting in a more tender and enjoyable backstrap. Don’t let tough meat ruin your venison experience – learn the secrets from the professionals.
Should you soak deer backstrap before cooking?
Is it necessary to soak deer backstrap before cooking? Soaking the backstrap in buttermilk for a few hours, or even overnight, can effectively eliminate any “gamey” flavor and extract the blood.
Why is backstrap of a deer so tender?
The tenderness of a deer’s backstrap explained: Unlike the weight-bearing muscles in the shoulder or haunch, the backstrap muscles in animals like deer do not carry constant weight. This is why they are generally more tender.
Is the backstrap the best part of the deer?
Is there anything more delicious and tender than the backstrap of a deer? Without a doubt, the backstrap reigns supreme with its incredible flavor and unparalleled tenderness.
Which is more tender backstrap or tenderloin?
Unveiling the ultimate battle: backstrap versus tenderloin. In the realm of tenderness, the tenderloin reigns supreme. With its elevated fat content, it guarantees an unrivaled melt-in-your-mouth sensation. Yet, the backstrap should not be underestimated – it offers remarkable flavor too. Are you prepared to make a verdict? Treat yourself to both and relish the extraordinary taste of these cuts.
Is backstrap of a deer tastier than beef?
Which is tastier: backstrap of a deer or beef? The answer is subjective, as it all comes down to personal preference. Deer backstrap offers a rich and intense flavor, while beef is known for its delicate juiciness. Whether you enjoy the complexity of venison or the succulent taste of steak, both options are guaranteed to satisfy any palate. Why not try both and determine for yourself which one reigns supreme?
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