Backstraps Made Easy – Really

Scott Leysath |

And maybe a rifle is just a rifle as long as it shoots straight. Some folks really do appreciate it when a delicious plate of food has eye appeal. And it really doesn’t require much extra time to make it happen.

Rehrücken - FiletTake, for example, the venison loin, the backstrap. Too many processors hack it into butterflied medallions instead of leaving it whole or, at the very least, in large lengths. You slap it into a skillet or onto a hot grill and maybe spoon a little barbecue sauce over it after it’s cooked. Oh sure, it tastes great and it’s fine for you and your friends. But what about Aunt Martha? You know she’ll be here for the holidays and she always makes a face whenever you mention venison. Now, Martha could just be a pain in the butt and might not have even tried venison, but why not give it a shot? Prepare your best venison dish, make it look like something you’d get in a nice restaurant and, maybe, just maybe…don’t tell her it’s venison until after she’s enjoyed a bite or two.

Back to the backstrap. Give it a good rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place it on a well-oiled grill and brown it evenly on all sides, but only until it is medium-rare, about 135 degrees in the center. If Aunt Martha is as hard-headed about insisting on eating well-done meat as she is about everything else, slice it thinly and smother it with a tasty pan sauce so she can’t tell how properly it’s cooked. Fan the sliced meat around a mound of mashed potatoes and some colorful vegetables and look her straight in the eye when you serve it so she doesn’t think you’re up to something, which really, you are. OK, so she’ll probably make the same disgusted face she always does and then again, maybe not.


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