Want to get maximum steakhouse flavor in just a few minutes from your venison? Try pan-searing some backstrap, then top it with a browned garlic butter pan sauce. It only takes a few minutes and is the perfect way to prepare venison on a busy weeknight when time is at a premium.
You won’t need a lot of special equipment, just an iron skillet. The secret is to get the pan scalding-hot before you drop the meat in. Yeah, it is going to smoke a bit, but that’s OK; just remember to open a window or two and turn on the fans and exhaust before you start. You might want to unhook your fire alarms as well, just in case.
The recipe works with any venison. I like backstrap for tenderness, but this is a great way to prepare elk tenderloin as well. Cut your steaks about two inches thick for a nice sear on the outside with a medium-rare finish in the center.
3-5 pounds venison backstrap, trimmed and cut into two-inch-thick steaks
1 tablespoon peanut oil
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter
½-cup beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Prep time: ten minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes. Serves 5-7.
Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
Set steaks out on the counter to come to room temperature, pat them dry just before cooking. Season steaks well with salt and pepper. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high to high until it just begins to smoke. Add peanut oil and swirl around pan to evenly coat the surface.
Place the steaks into the pan to sear. Don’t touch them for three minutes to allow a nice crust to form on the steak. At the end of three minutes, flip the steaks. Immediately move the pan to the preheated oven. Cook for an additional ten minutes in the oven.
Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the steaks to a warm plate. Cover with foil and allow the steaks to rest. Pour the beef broth into the skillet and scrape any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the pan. The broth should immediately come to a boil in the hot pan. When the broth has reduced by half, add the garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the butter, a piece at a time, and stir until the sauce comes together. Plate the steaks and spoon the pan sauce over just before serving.
Michael Pendley is the man behind Timber-2-Table, Realtree’s online collection of game recipes and preparation methods. For more from Timber-2-Table, check out their website today.