In our home, it doesn’t get much better than a venison backstrap dinner. It’s the tender, coveted cut of meat that runs along the backside of the deer and when cooked correctly, it’s the perfect fix for carnivorous hankerings.
I like this recipe because the flavor combination is so simple it allows the meaty taste of the tenderloin shine. The key is in the cooking method. The meat gets a quick sear in a hot pan to seal in the flavor then it gets popped in the oven until the internal temperature reaches at least 120 degrees for rare, or 130 for medium rare. You could leave it in longer, but you could run into dry venison.
I rub the venison with fresh minced garlic, salt, and pepper then I lay fresh rosemary sprigs on top and tie it with cooking twine. This method would also work with beef or pork tenderloin. If you try it with pork, you’ll want to be sure the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees before removing it from the oven.
Once the venison gets removed from the oven, I place it on a cutting tray, cover it with foil, then make a sauce from the pan drippings with onions and beef stock.
This meal is just awesome, you guys. It’s an impressive meal with incredible flavor and minimal effort. If you’re lucky enough to have a venison backstrap in your freezer, I highly recommend giving this a go. Or if you’re looking to shake up steak night, try it with a beef tenderloin. You will be so happy you did. We served ours with this simple sweet potato risotto. Try this recipe and tell me about it in the comments below!
Rosemary Garlic Crusted Venison Backstrap
For the Backstrap
- 1/2 Venison Backstrap (can sub beef or pork tenderloin)
- 2 Tsp Coarse Salt
- 1 Tsp Black Pepper
- 4 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
- 6-8 Rosemary Sprigs
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
For the Pan Sauce
- 1/2 Medium Onion, chopped
- 1 Cup Beef Stock
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pull the venison from the refrigerator and allow to site at room temperature for half an hour. Cut the backstrap in half if using a smaller pan. Combine the salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl then rub into the surface of the backstrap. Lay the rosemary sprigs on top of the meat then use 8 strands of cooking twine and tie it together.
Preheat the oven to 425. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Gently lay the backstrap in the pan and sear on one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip the meat over and place the pan in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. For rare, remove the pan when the meat has reached an internal temperature of 120 degrees. For medium rare, remove at 130. If using pork, remove when the internal temperature is 140.
Place the backstrap on a cutting board and allow to rest with a piece of foil over the top for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place the pan with the drippings back on the stove top over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent then add the stock. Use a wooden spoon to lift and incorporate the pan drippings into the sauce. Pour the sauce through a mesh strainer to remove the onion and other solid pieces.
Slice the meat and serve warm with the pan sauce.