The incredibly lean, tender length of pure protein of the backstrap makes hunters and camp cooks go wild. And there is definitely no shortage of opinion on the way you supposedly have to handle, prep, marinate or cook this great cut of meat.
I have personally had numerous people suffering keyboard courage tell me I was dead wrong on my approach to this cut. What they do not realize is that I harvest quite a large number of deer every year and I butcher, clean, eat or serve every single one of them.
How you prep the venison may be slightly different than what you would for beef, but they are both still red meat. Bison, buffalo, elk, moose — they can all work in almost every recipe you could create with beef. And in my opinion, venison will not only suffice, but make the dish that much better.
So lets get to it: chicken fried venison loins (backstrap). Everyone loves this classic recipe, and I will show you one small trick to make it even better than you remember. As always, read through the recipe twice before you start and make sure you have a friend or two close by so you can show off.
1 backstrap, sliced 1.5-inch thick
1.5 cups 1/2 & 1/2 or buttermilk
2 Tbsp. blackened redfish seasoning 4 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
Step 1: Cut the Back Strap
Cut your Back strap into 1.5-inch thick steaks and set aside.
Step 2: Cut the Skin
Make sure all the silver skin is cut off of your back strap before you cut into steaks. Makes it much easier to remove while still a whole cut of meat.
Step 3: Mix
Beat the 2 eggs and then add the 1/2 and 1/2 or buttermilk. Add the blackened redfish seasoning to the mix. Then add the steaks and soak about an hour. Make sure the steaks are covered with the wet mix.
Step 4: Continue Mixing
Then in a separate bowl, mix the parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs, cayenne pepper and paprika. Take one or 2 steaks out and let the wet mix drain off the steaks for just a few seconds and place in the bread crumbs.
Now here's the trick: cover the steaks with the bread crumbs and knead the steaks with your knuckles to break down the tissue which will make them more tender. Keep turning the steaks over and covering with bread crumbs and kneading, three to four times.
Tip: Whenever you are cutting venison, always save the scraps or small left over pieces, bag them up and freeze to grind up later for sausage.
Step 5: Cook
Add the olive oil to a cast iron skillet and heat the oil on medium high for about 3 minutes. Then add the breaded venison loin steaks. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes per side, careful not to burn the steaks.
Realize that when you were kneading the steaks you were tenderizing the meat so you only want to cook the steaks to a medium doneness at most.
I can't tell you exactly how many times a year we make this recipe....but it's a lot! We love to roast corn on the BBQ and add a few sauteed vegetables to our plate. Try this at your house and you will have a super healthy meal the whole family can enjoy.