Deer backstrap is a choice cut from beside the spine of the deer and is similar to a pork loin. Typically cut into steaks or strips, this lean venison meat is tailor-made for a marinade that tenderizes the meat while complementing its natural flavors. Since venison is sweeter than other meats, avoid sugary marinades and don't marinate for more than 24 hours, or the deer meat will be more mush than masterpiece.
Large plastic, resealable food storage bag
Small lidded container
Even though it has a high sugar content, you can use cola to neutralize the wild gamey taste of the backstrap steaks by submerging the meat in the soda. An alternative marinade that will also do the trick is to soak the meat in a marinade of milk or buttermilk, black pepper and fresh garlic.
Vegetables can be marinated alongside the meat in the bag and used for kabobs or stir-fries.
Combine the marinade liquids and spaces into a small bowl and mix together thoroughly. Good marinade choices will include a form of mild vegetable acid to help tenderize the meat, such as red wine, vinegar, soy sauce, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce or French or Italian dressing. Add any additional desired seasonings.
Place the deer backstrap meat into a large plastic, resealable food storage bag.
Pour half of the marinade over the deer meat in the bag and reserve the other half in a lidded container. Seal the bag tightly. Turn and knead the bag gently to make sure the meat is completely coated with the marinade.
Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Make sure to also refrigerate the reserved marinade.
Remove the meat from the marinade bag. Grill or broil the backstrap steaks, and brush the reserved marinade from the lidded container over the meat while it is cooking.
Items you will need
- The Deer Hunters' Almanac; ed. Sid Evans and the editors of Sports Afield
- Ask the Meatman: Venison Marinades
- The Sporting Chef's Better Venison Cookbook; Scott Leysath
- Missouri Department of Conservation: Grilled Venison Marinades
Bonnie Singleton has been writing professionally since 1996. She has written for various newspapers and magazines including "The Washington Times" and "Woman's World." She also wrote for the BBC-TV news magazine "From Washington" and worked for Discovery Channel online for more than a decade. Singleton holds a master's degree in musicology from Florida State University and is a member of the American Independent Writers.