An Easy and Delicious Way to Prepare Backstraps

Scott Leysath |

LEYSATH_WOW_8.12.16_BACKSTRAPSPIC3Before we get too deep into our respective deer seasons, I feel compelled to offer my annual rant about why whole backstraps shouldn’t be hacked into butterflied portions prior to wrapping and freezing. Way too often, pro and home butchers alike will turn a perfectly good backstrap into individual servings that are supposed to be more user-friendly when cooked, but instead you have too-thin portions that are more likely to be overcooked or freezer-burnt.

When you package venison backstraps either whole or in 8 to 10-inch portions, it leaves you with preparation options beyond fast-cooked butterflied steaks. If you decide that LEYSATH_WOW_8.12.16_BACKSTRAPSPIC2butterflied steaks are what you’d like for dinner, feel free to thaw out one of the large chunks and slice away. But rather than butterfly it, why not just cut it into 3/4 to 1-inch thick medallions and skip the butterflying part? If you would prefer to give a whole backstrap a good rub, along with a slick coating of olive oil, and slap it on a hot grill, you can do that, too. This is America.

Small packages of meat are more like to get freezer-burnt than larger ones. And if you do happen to get a little freezer burn on a large roast or whole backstrap, you can easily trim away the discolored part and the rest will be fine. Of course, the best way to prevent freezer burn from happening in the first place is to wrap your packaged game properly. If, after bringing your butchered deer back from the processor, you notice that the packages are not tightly wrapped, fix it with additional butcher paper. Better yet, invest in a good vacuum-packaging unit and eliminate the chance of the dreaded oxygen exposure that turns otherwise delicious meat into something dry, greenish and off-tasting.

Lisa Freeman, featured in the video, knows her way around a kitchen and is no stranger to cooking venison backstraps. She’s a real chef who spent many years as Executive Chef for NASCAR, preparing meals for officials at races across the country. She and her sister, Jamie, have a gourmet food truck, Gypsy Bistro, in the Lodi, California area. If you see the truck and you don’t stop for a bite, you’re missing out on some great chow.


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