Skip to main content

Simple Elk Venison Backstrap Recipe with Nopales and Peppers

Cooking elk venison backstrap is easy to do with this delicious recipe featuring nopales (cactus paddles) and spicy serrano peppers

Simple Elk Venison Backstrap Recipe with Nopales and Peppers

Elk venison backstrap is dense in protein, richness, and bursting with flavor. Try this recipe and you’ll find that cooking up a tasty backstrap dish is a quick and easy task. (Field 2 Grill photo)

Print Recipe

Venison is very low in fat, so be sure not to overcook it or it will dry out. If you cook just 5 degrees over the ideal temp, your backstrap will be tough. I have found that using a thermometer is about the easiest sure-fire way to cook backstrap perfectly.

Serves: 4 (approximately ½ pound backstrap per person)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


  • Elk venison backstrap
  • Any rub/seasonings that suits your tastes
  • Serrano peppers
  • Nopales (cactus paddles)
  • Yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
simple elk venison backstrap peppers recipe
Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen or out on the grill. You don’t have to be a chef in order to cook up some good quality time with your family and friends. At the end of the day, if you mess up your dish, you can always have a good laugh and order a pizza. (Field 2 Grill photo)


  1. Pull your backstrap from the fridge and gather the rest of the ingredients. Let the meat sit out while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. Cut up the nopales and cook them in the same pan you will eventually cook the elk in. Cook the nopales on high, just until the liquid starts to cook out. Reduce heat to medium and cover.
  3. Cut up the serrano peppers, yellow onion, and garlic; set aside.
  4. Pour about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil into a separate pan. Add your peppers, onions, and garlic to the pan and cook over medium-high heat.
  5. While the peppers and onions are cooking, take whatever rub you like and generously coat the backstrap with it. You really can’t go wrong here. I like to use a sweeter rub to go with the heat of the peppers, but any rub or seasoning will work.
  6. Uncover the pan with the nopales in it and turn the heat to high. Push the nopales off to the sides of the pan and add 1 more tablespoon of coconut oil to the middle of the pan.
  7. Place your backstrap in the hot pan and sear it on all sides (including the ends). This will take about 2 minutes on each side. The backstrap will be done when it has an internal temperature between 130-140 degrees. Do not cook it to more than 140 degrees.
  8. Move the backstrap to a plate and tent with foil. Let it sit for about 7 minutes. The center should still be pink and have a slight chill to it. If you don’t like it this rare, tent it for 10-12 minutes instead.
  9. Top your backstrap with the cooked nopales and peppers before serving. Enjoy!
field 2 grill rydell danzie elk hunting
Rydell Danzie, host of “Field 2 Grill,” with his elk taken out in the Nevada Hills. (Field 2 Grill photo)

For more info on Field 2 Grill, visit:

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now