I think it is safe to say that backstrap is by far the most popular and talked about cuts of meat from a deer… with good reason. In my opinion, the reason why this cut of meat is so popular, other than being tender and juicy, is that it is almost infallible. It takes a real “knuckle head” to screw it up to the point where it is inedible. Almost every hunting household seems to have their own recipe and preference with the most popular being backstrap wrapped in bacon. I have no problem or animosity towards bacon but I rarely ever use it, especially on any wild game meat. The main reason for me is that it’s one of those things that is done too often. It is almost impossible, if not completely impossible, for a piece of meat to cook properly after wrapping it with more meat. By the time the bacon fat renders to the point of crispy, the lean venison would be what I call “hammered” (my cooking temperature preference is going to be rare to medium rare). The hunting community is full of opinions… this article is not about me just throwing my opinions at you as well, because I find that many wild game recipes have to be tailored in families with young children in an effort to expose them to various meats and the children still enjoy it…I don’t have children; however, any way to keep the taste of wild game meat in the mouths of the younger generations is fine by me. As far as this recipe goes, it is simple and robust in flavor…if the bold flavor of freshly cracked peppercorn is not for you, you should probably look at some of my other recipes or check back when more are posted.
Start by letting your piece of backstrap sit and come to room temperature. Pat the meat dry of any moisture that is present. Take your peppercorn grinder and set it on the coarse setting. Grind peppercorns on a plate. Grab some olive oil and lightly coat the entire backstrap. Then simply roll the meat on the plate of peppercorns until the entire piece is covered. Set the meat on a cooking rack sitting on a sheet tray that will catch any drippings. Pre heat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the meat in the oven. (I suggest buying a wireless cooking thermometer so that your meat is perfect every time) At an internal temp of 135 degrees pull out the meat and let it rest 10-15 minutes. I will admit on this particular occasion, I did not use a thermometer which led to me standing by the oven and constantly check it. Also, the piece of backstrap I cooked was relatively small so the cooking time ended up being 14 minutes. Once it has rested and you have the meat sliced, sprinkle lightly with some kosher salt and serve.
Peppercorn Crusted Venison
- 1 Venison Backstrap
- 1 Grinder of Peppercorns
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
That’s it. Simple and tasty. Enjoy.
Last modified: February 1, 2020