Sunday, January 4, 2015

Venison "Back Strap" Medallions

Dinner looks different these days.  Cooking is beyond strategic.  Sautéing anything includes tossing scraps down to my toddler who inevitably thinks he is going to die of hunger 30 minutes before dinner, no matter what time we eat.  Moms, you know how it is, right?

Believe it or not, I still love nothing more than to cook food for my family.  Even cooler is when I know exactly where the food came from!  My buddy Keith brought home a deer this year, and real friends give you meat for Christmas.  

I went bold and simple for this preparation of "backs strap" steaks.  These cuts come just lateral of the spine on the animal and make for great little steaks.  Venison is a lean meat and can hold up to bold seasoning.  I chose to accompany it with a little bacon fat (rendered from breakfast with a little planning).

Venison "Back Strap" Medallions

1-1 1/2 pounds venison, 1 inch thick medallions
1/4 cup bacon grease for cooking
1 large 6 inch sprig fresh rosemary, or the equivalent of smaller sprigs
Salt and Pepper

Using the rosemary on the stalk is convenient because you can just flavor the fat for cooking and then fish it out after.  Using dried rosemary is fine as well.  Probably a tsp is sufficient.

Bacon grease should be saved in a beloved Santa mug when possible. 

Got to love the official labeling.  

Heat a large skillet or cast iron pan to medium heat.  Pour in your bacon grease and allow the rosemary to release it's oils upon hitting the heat.  You don't want to burn the sprig, so if it starts to burn, pull it out and turn down your heat for the moment.

Pat dry and salt and pepper both sides of your meat.  Cook each side 2-3 minutes, getting a good sear and only turning once.  The smell is glorious.  Tell your toddler it will be worth it.  And no, he can't have any more cereal.

Allow your steaks to rest 5-7 min.  They should be a lovely medium rare.  Finish with sea salt and the rosemary for garnish.  

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