BBQ Recipe Secrets

My Favorite Grilled Venison Recipe

If you're tired of the same old barbecue meats, try grilled venison for a change of pace

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Many people have never tried grilled venison, if only because it can be difficult to acquire the meat. If you don't know what venison is, it's basically meat from deer and deer-like animals such as elk, antelope, and caribou.

As I use it here, it's synonymous with the meat of free-range wild deer. Whitetail, mule, fallow, and axis are the most common varieties, with the first two representing the only deer native to the U.S. These are the types that most hunters bag as wild game.

A Few Cautions

While I happen to enjoy venison myself, it's not to everyone's taste, especially if you're accustomed to fatty meats like beef and pork. You see, venison tends to be very lean. It's so lean, in fact, that it's almost impossible to make into sausage unless it's mixed with pig fat. True fact.

Lacking pigs, the Native Americans mixed in berries and bear fat when they made it into pemmican, their unique form of sausage.

Be that as it may, understand that this leanest of red meats is almost unflavored by fat. The flavor derives from whatever the deer was eating in the wild, which especially makes it an acquired taste.

Wild deer aren't fattened up with corn in feedlots as cows and pigs often are; that would be illegal. Thus, the flavor of venison may vary from place to place... and to some taste buds, the flavor may be odd indeed.

In central Texas, for example, the meat may taste especially unusual if the deer have been dining on wild persimmons, which commonly occurs.

With This Recipe...

The variability of venison flavor, coupled with its leanness, makes a marinade advisable. That's why this barbecued venison recipe, which has a rather Italian character, includes one. Here's what you'll need to get started:

Four pounds of half-inch thick venison steaks
1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh garlic
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
2 bottles of Italian salad dressing
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of olive oil

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients except the steaks, then set the marinade aside. After pounding the steaks with a tenderizing mallet for a while (preferably until they're half their original thickness), lay them in a large container and pour on the marinade. Then let them steep in the refrigerator for a good 24 hours.

Next: fire up the grill to medium high heat, and sear each steak for at least 2-3 minutes per side for medium rare to medium. Cook them a bit longer if you prefer your steaks well done. Then immediately dig into your delicious grilled venison, and enjoy!


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