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Venison French Dip Sandwiches
Thinly slicing the meat is the key to these tender flavor-packed subs.
The best cut of venison for French dip sandwiches:
For these sandwiches, I usually use the Top Round steak/roast. It’s one of the larger whole muscles from the deer ham or leg. One Top Round roast from a medium to large Whitetail deer should feed two people. You can always use the Bottom Round too if you are planning to feed more. Honestly, thanks to the manner in which the meat is prepared, you can really use any larger sized whole muscle roast.
How to make sure the venison is tender:
The really nice part about this recipe is that it’s not reliant on how tender the meat is, so you can be really flexible with the cuts you are using. Because of one simple step, you don’t really have to worry about tough venison. Thinly shaving the meat with a deli slicer is the key! Thin pieces offer much less bite resistance, so we perceive them to be more tender as we are eating them. You can use a very sharp chef’s knife or slicer to try and do it by hand, but I really do recommend using a dedicated meat slicer for optimal results. You’ll find yourself using it more than you expect (and it’s perfect for Philly cheesesteaks, too!).
Picking the best seasoning for the venison roasts:
I may be a little biased here, but I would never recommend anything I didn’t love. The best seasoning you can use for this recipe undoubtedly has to be my Hardcore Carnivore Camo seasoning. I specifically created it for use with wild game, and it has some majorly bold flavors that are nearly reminiscent of a pastrami rub.
How to make au jus for venison French dip:
It pains me on a deep level to call the dipping broth “au jus”. Literally, it translates from French as “with juice”. So when Americans ask for their sandwich with extra au jus, they are literally saying “I want a sandwich with extra with juice”, which of course makes absolutely no sense. In every other English speaking country aside from America, the same French style meat-juice broth is referred to only by the noun: jus. But I do realize it’s futile to try and correct a culinary quirk used by an entire nation, so let’s just skip to the au jus – rant over!
A consommé is the richest and most flavorful version of a bone broth or stock. It’s a deliciously concentrated version of broth that’s perfectly clarified of fat and sediment (usually by using egg whites!). As you might imagine, most consommés are also rather laborious to make. If you feel so inclined to give it a go yourself, I recommend this recipe. You can even use venison bones to create a venison consommé. But honestly, for this French dip recipe I use the easily attainable canned versions you can easily get at the grocery store. With the consommé as the major flavor base for my au jus, I also use other classic flavors like shallots, butter and fresh herbs to give it some depth.
Keeping the venison meat pink for the french dip sandwiches:
The first step to perfectly cooked meat is to invest in a decent meat thermometer. This is also step one in creating a perfectly pink roast. Instead of prodding and squeezing the meat trying to guess when it’s at the perfect doneness – just use a thermometer to get an EXACT answer! I use and recommend a Thermapen for accurate and fast reads.
Step two is to work quickly during the dip stage. You’ll be ever-so briefly reheating the meat in the hot liquid before piling it onto hoagie rolls. A quick slosh through the broth will keep the meat pink. Dumping it into the broth and leaving it to soak rather than dip will have change the venison’s color really rapidly. It’s not a problem at all regarding the taste – but if you want that lovely visual you’ll have to be speedy.
Venison French Dip Sandwiches
- 1 x venison top round roast
- 1-2 tablespoons Hardcore Carnivore Camo seasoning
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot (or 1/4 yellow onion), finely diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped
- 1 x 10.5 oz can of beef consomme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup beef broth
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce (preferably dark)
- 2 x hoagie rolls or baguettes
- Preheat an oven to 325 f.
- Pat the venison dry with paper towels, then season well all over with Hardcore Carnivore Camo seasoning. Cover a tray in foil for easy cleaning, then place a rack on top. Lay the venison on the rack, then place into the oven to roast for about 60-80 minutes until the internal temperature reads 135f on a thermometer. Its recommended to start monitoring the temperature after about 50 minutes to prevent overcooking.
- While the venison cooks, make the au jus. Giving it extra time to reduce intensifies the flavor. Place a saucepan or deep skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and melt, then add the shallot. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and stir for another minute. Slowly stir in the consomme, then add the broth, Worcestershire and soy sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer, and allow the mixture to slowly reduce.
- When the venison is at the correct temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest under foil for 15-20 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice thinly using a meat slicer or sharp knife.
- Prepare the hoagie rolls by slicing them nearly all the way through, but leaving one side attached (like a clam shell). This helps the sandwich hold together.
- Ladle some of the au jus into a ramekin and set aside to serve. I do this because the assembly step moves very fast, and as soon as the sandwiches are ready you're doing to want to eat them!
- Assemble the sandwiches. Use tongs to grab some slices of venison, quickly drag them through the hot au jus in the saucepan to dip them, then arrange them into the hoagie roll. Repeat until both rolls are generously filled.
- Serve the sandwiches along with the au jus.
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