If you’re in the mood to try something different this weekend and add a little flair to the menu, try out this venison backstrap recipe from Larry Cooke. The coffee spice rub, demi-glace and mesquite wood will combine to create an enticing mix of flavors. The process may take a little extra work, but no doubt, it will be worth it.
Venison Backstrap Coffee Spice Rub:
- Store unused portion in an airtight container to be used on other steaks
- 1/4 cup Ancho chile powder
- 1/4 cup finely ground espresso-roast coffee beans
- 2 Tbsp sweet paprika
- 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground ginger
You can pick up an already made jar at Williams Sonoma.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 package sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 purple onion
- 1 stick butter (unsalted)
- Brandy or Grand Marnier for sauce/deglazing
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Olive oil to coat meat
- Mesquite wood for cooking/smoking
Coat meat with olive oil. Season one side of meat with Coffee Spice Rub and the other with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan, sauté onions and mushrooms in ½ stick butter until caramelized. Deglaze pan with liquor. Add two heaping tablespoons Demi-Glace and stir to incorporate. Set aside and keep warm. Have HOT coals/wood going, reserving three to four pieces of the mesquite wood (dry) for smoking. Add reserved wood right before placing meat on the grill. Allow wood to smoke generously and let the meat cook, turning only once, to desired doneness. Set meat aside and let rest for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, reheat sauté pan of onions and mushrooms until hot. Cut butter into chunks and add to pan. Remove from heat and stir mixture until butter has slowly melted and sauce is smooth and velvety. Spoon mixture onto plate. Slice loin in 1/2-inch slices, fan out and lay on top of onion and mushrooms. Drizzle the rest of the sauce on top of meat.
For more outstanding step-by-step tips on cleaning, processing and preparing your own venison just like these, check out Gut It. Cut It. Cook It. by Eric Fromm and Al Cambronne, available now at