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Venison Pastrami Recipe

In this episode of "Fare Game," David Draper shows you how to make your own venison pastrami at home.

Print Recipe

Skip the deli and make your own pastrami from whitetails, mule deer, elk or other cuts of venison. The process is simple, though it does take some time for the meat to brine and smoke. This technique also works great with goose or ducks breasts as well.

Yield: 1 large venison roast
Prep time: 15 minutes + 5 to 7 days for brining
Cook time: 4 hours


  • 1 large venison roast (elk, deer, antelope, or moose)
  • Beef stock


  • 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 teaspoons Insta Cure #1
  • 1 quart hot water
  • ¼ cup honey
  • Ice

Pastrami Seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon ground peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground garlic


  1. Trim silver skin and connective tissue from your venison roast as needed. Set roast aside.
  2. In a large bowl or pot, make the brine by mixing together the kosher salt, brown sugar, Insta Cure #1, and hot water. Whisk the mixture until the ingredients dissolve. Add in honey; mix well.
  3. Add brine to a larger container (whatever container you plan to brine the venison in). Add some ice to the brine to cool it down.
  4. Put your venison roast in the brine, making sure it is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 5-7 days.
  5. After the brining process has finished, remove the venison from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for Pastrami Seasoning.
  7. Coat the venison roast with the seasoning. If you have a thinner roast, coat only one side of the roast. For thicker roasts, coat both sides.
  8. Set your smoker to 220 degrees.
  9. Add seasoned venison roast to the smoker and let smoke for a couple of hours, until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 150 degrees.
  10. Remove the roast from the smoker and place it in a roasting pan. Pour in beef stock so the roast sits in about an inch of stock. Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil (shiny side down).
  11. Put roast in a 275-degree preheated oven for a couple of hours.
  12. Use the venison pastrami in a breakfast hash, in sandwiches, or on a pizza. There are many ways you can enjoy this pastrami. Get creative and make something delicious with it!

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