During the months leading up to my visit home in VA, my dad kept insisting that we document his venison recipes for my blog. An avid bow hunter, my dad brought me up eating fresh venison straight from the Virginian suburbs. The overpopulated deer that feed on grass and residents’ beautiful blooming azalea bushes, are 100% natural, free range, hormone free, and healthier than beef. It tastes light, fresh and is far from gamey.
In true Clary fashion, we went big and documented 4 family recipes throughout the week. This particular recipe is incredibly simple, but the key ingredient is high quality venison. It’s so good that, as pictured below, it is best when accompanied by a good cigar lit by a blowtorch.
We made Rack of Bambi the first night of our visit and invited over my dad’s good friend, whose land he made this particular kill on. Making the ribs was a blast from start to finish and my 15 year old spaniels (how are they still alive?!) enjoyed the process as well. Every time my dad preps venison, they are by his side, eagerly awaiting to receive their scrumptious morsels.
Although the recipe is extremely simple, there is a lot of work that goes behind it. When I asked my dad if he would write the actual recipe, he replied that before you begin, you have to:
- Wake up at 4am.
- Don your warm camouflage.
- Climb into your suburban tree stand with your hunting bow.
- Wait for hours in stillness and silence.
- Spot a worthy buck.
- Achieve a quick, clean kill with a single arrow through the heart. (As my dad says, there isn’t enough challenge when you hunt with a gun.)
- Recover the deer and field dress where it falls.
- Drag it back to your truck with your bare hands.
- Take it home.
- Skin it.
- Butcher it. (Careful butchering is the key to quality venison, and if you want it done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.)
- Store your cuts of meat until ready to use.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to go. No, but seriously, make 100% sure you have the highest quality venison before trying this recipe. I’ve had gamey venison in other people’s kitchens and it is zero fun.
To this day my dad’s venison recipes are some of my favorite dishes to make, both for the nostalgia, and the amazing flavor.
Red Meat Seasoning of Choice (We used Penzey’s Chicago Steak & Arizona Dreaming)
Bone-in Venison Tenderloin
Remove & discard excess silver skin.
Season liberally on both sides.
Heat grill to 350 degrees using indirect heat.
Insert external thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin.
Cook on grill until meat reads an internal temperature of 120 degrees.
Take meat off grill, wrap in tin foil & let sit for 15 minutes.
Carve & serve immediately.