By Jack Hennessy
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Backstrap is perfect with only salt and pepper, cooked medium-rare (not a fraction of a degree past that). Still, adding a little something extra is a great way to keep things interesting and may cause less-enthusiastic wild-game eaters to rush to the table.
When it comes to a full length of a backstrap, I recommend two key techniques for a perfect medium-rare finish:
- Pull that thawed meat from fridge two hours prior to cooking so it can come to room temp.
- Cut backstrap in half before placing on grill as the narrower section (portion taken from near neck) will cook faster than thicker part.
Meat not brought to room temp prior to cooking can lead to a well-done exterior and still a ruby-red gelatin-like cold center. I do trust in an internal meat thermometer. I’d rather have a tiny bit of juice escape (when probing) versus allowing an amazing cut of meat to get overcooked.
I also prefer high heat and removing backstrap 20 degrees before medium-rare. After removing, when wrapped in aluminum foil, carry-over effect will redistribute juices perfectly and bring meat to ideal 130-135, perhaps a hair under. Make certain to monitor both backstrap sides separately, as the narrower portion will be done sooner, more than likely.
Top lightly or liberally with peach relish,or set it on the side—whatever works for you. There is a nice hint of summer in that flavor, though fall is thankfully finally upon us.
Note on the peaches: If you can’t find white-flesh peaches, you can use yellow-flesh, though you may wish to add a little bit of sugar to relish (as white-flesh peaches are naturally sweeter than yellow-flesh).
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
- Venison backstrap, silver skin removed, halved and grilled
- 2 white-flesh peaches, sliced
- 1 medium red onion, cut julienne
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red-pepper chili flakes
- Sunflower oil
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- Sliced scallions for garnish (optional)
- Set thawed backstrap outside of fridge 2 hours prior to cooking and liberally salt and pepper all sides as it comes to room temperature.
- To make peach relish, add a thin layer of oil to pan then add red onion (sliced julienne) and heat on medium. Lightly salt and pepper.
- Once onions start to soften, add sliced peaches. Set heat to medium-low. Once peaches start to soften, add freshly minced garlic, apple-cider vinegar, and red pepper chili flakes. Stir often.
- Peach relish is finished when all ingredients are soft but still have slight firmness (read: not mush). Salt to taste. Keep on low until ready to serve.
- To grill backstrap, heat grill to 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit and cut backstrap in half. Sear all sides evenly.
- Remove once internal temperature reaches 110-115 and cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Top carved backstrap with peach relish and garnish with scallions (optional).
Any questions or comments, please reach out on Instagram: @WildGameJack
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