Jess Pryles

Stuffed Venison Backstrap with Walnut, Sage & Cremini Mushroom

stuffed venison backstrap
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Some folks call it loin, others call it backstrap – whatever you call it, don’t cut it up into steaks! Whole stuffed venison backstrap is an easy, delicious recipe (that looks pretty fancy, too!)

I recently tried to track down some whole venison backstrap in friend’s freezers, wanting to create another stuffed version before hunting season started again (if you want to, you can read all about my first time hunting experience here). I knew it was a long shot, as I figured it would be one of the first cuts to be consumed. Surprisingly, many people still had backstrap in their stash, but disappointingly, all of it was either cut into steaks or tenderized. Frustration!

whole venison backstrap recipe
whole venison backstrap

With so few large whole muscles coming off the deer, it was a no brainer to me to use a deer loin just like a pork loin – stuff it and cut into medallions. As long as you keep it rare enough and don’t overcook it, it’s a darn delicious way to treat that cut. So I implore you, this season, save at least one loin for this stuffed venison backstrap recipe, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it.

venison stuffed with sage, walnut and mushroom

Ingredient substitutions:

There are a fill simple swaps you can make to change this recipe up and experiment with other flavors. If you’re not a walnut fan, though I can’t imagine too many people find them offensive, you could easily swap them out and use pecans instead – same amount, same technique. Sage can be substituted for thyme or tarragon. And of course, there are a plethora of different and more exotic mushroom varieties you can experiment with, such as shiitake, oyster and even the highly prized morel.

Check out the recipe below (and if you make it, let me know what you think over at my Facebook page!).

easy venison recipe with cherry sauce

Print Recipe

Stuffed Venison Backstrap with Walnut, Sage & Cremini Mushroom

“Chiffonade” is just a fancy way of referring to very thinly slicing a herb – you can also just finely chop the sage leaves. 

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp oil, divided
  • 8oz cremini mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 8 large sage leaves, chiffonade
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • ½ tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice (optional)
  • 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 whole venison backstrap (about 2lb)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350f.

  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of oil and cook the mushrooms, shallots and sage leaves until softened.

  3. Allow mixture to cool, and drain off any excess liquid the mushrooms released during cooking.

  4. Toast the walnuts in a frying pan without any oil, stirring regularly to avoid burning, until fragrant. Chop and add to mushroom mix.

  5. Add salt, pepper, allspice and breadcrumbs. Stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir once more until everything is well mixed.

  6. Butterfly the backstrap so it’s flat and even, and spread the stuffing mixture in a log across the middle.

  7. Pull the backstrap back together, forming a cylinder around the stuffing, and secure with twine. Season outside well with salt.

  8. In a cast iron skillet (or heavy based pan) heat remaining oil until nearly smoking, then sear the stuffed loin about 2 minutes per side until completely browned all over.

  9. Place pan in oven, and cook a further 4-6 minutes. It’s important to not overcook the backstrap as it will become tough.

  10. Remove from pan, and rest under foil for 8-10 minutes before slicing 1" thick portions and serving.

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a cook, writer, and TV personality specializing in red meat, with penchant for grilling and bourbon. She's also a respected authority on Texas & competition style barbecue. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

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