Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grilled Venison Backstrap

Grant went hunting (for only the 3rd time) on December 17th, the day his parents arrived for the holidays. A friend had invited him to go along with him to his grandparents' property about an hour away....and since hunting season comes to an end quickly, Grant figured he'd better take the chance while he had it. He ended up making his first kill.....a rather large doe.

They took care of all the dirty business before coming home, but Grant had a really long job ahead of him in preparing the meat. We lost count of the hours he spent carefully removing all the tough cartilage and undesirable stuff from the meat. He commented that he has a whole new appreciation for the time I spend in the kitchen preparing food!

He wanted to cook some of the prime cuts (the backstrap and tenderloin) for Christmas Eve to share with his parents and brother. I jumped on Allrecipes and found this as the top-ranked venison recipe, so we made it.

We had another backstrap that we used this recipe for again to celebrate Grant's birthday, this time with the friend that took him hunting and his wife. The friend, who has hunted successfully for years, said this was the best venison he had ever eaten.

We loved it too....and I was surprised that it really tasted just like beef. You could certainly substitute beef tenderloin and have equally delicious results.


2 lbs venison backstrap (tenderloin), cut into 2-inch medallions
1 quart apple cider
1 lb. bacon
16-24 oz barbeque sauce, your favorite

Place chunks of venison into a shallow baking dish or large ziplock bag and pour enough apple cider in to cover them. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove and pat dry. Discard apple cider and return venison to bag. Pour barbeque sauce over the chunks, cover, and refrigerate for 2-3 more hours.

Remove meat from fridge 30 minutes before you want to begin cooking.

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-low heat. Wrap each chunk of meat in a slice of bacon and secure with toothpicks.

Brush the grill grate with olive oil when hot, and place venison pieces on the grill so they are not touching. The bacon will kick up some flames, so be ready! Grill for 5-7 minutes per side, watching carefully to prevent scorching. The meat is best when still pink(ish) in the center.

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