I have tried backstrap prepared just about every imaginable way, including raw. I loved just about all of them, but this recipe ranks way up on my favorites list. It combines the flavor of a Philly cheesesteak with grilled backstrap. How could you get much better?
To stuff and roll a backstrap, first you have to convert the meat from its original shape into a flat form. Start by trimming all silver skin and any bits of fat from an eight- to ten-inch section of backstrap. Slide a sharp filet knife in from the side about one third of the way up the backstrap, keeping it parallel with the cutting board. Stop just short of slicing all the way through. Fold the backstrap open like a book. Make another slice from the same side, again slicing almost all the way through. Fold the backstrap open again, so that it is roughly three times as wide as the original shape and more or less flat on the board.
For this recipe, we used classic cheesesteak toppings, but let your imagination be your guide.
3-4 pounds of venison backstrap in either one long section or two shorter ones
2 yellow onions, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
½ stick of butter
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Salt and pepper well. Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are soft and onions and peppers are cooked through (about ten minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
After carving the backstrap, pound the backstrap with a meat mallet until it is flat and even. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the pepper, onion, and mushroom mixture evenly over the meat. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese.
Roll the backstrap into a log, keeping the cheese and onion/pepper mixture inside. Pin the roll closed with toothpicks. Season again with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pre-heat your grill to 350 degrees. Grill the backstrap for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the meat at the center of the roll reaches 140 degrees for medium-rare to medium.
Allow the rolls to rest, lightly covered with foil, for a full ten minutes. Slice into thin medallions 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.