I often have people mistake my stuffed venison hindquarter cuts for backstraps. If you treat them right, they can be just as tender, especially if they’re removed from a young doe.
The first step is to separate each muscle from the hindquarter. Using a sharp boning knife, work along the sinew that separates the muscle groups, and remove each muscle as intact as possible. Clean it up by trimming away anything that isn’t muscle. If it’s whitish in color, it’s got to go.
Trim sirloin and round steaks parallel to the grain into 3- to 4-inch wide strips, about the same width and thickness as a backstrap. It might take a few pieces of the various muscles to make 4 serving-sized portions.
If you are not too adept at tying up a stuffed piece of meat with butcher string, you can also secure with skewers or toothpicks.
Don’t waste the trimmed sinewy parts. Throw them in a lightly oiled pan until brown. Stir in some celery, carrot, onion and herbs, and cook for a few minutes more. Deglaze the pan with a big glug of red wine, perhaps some balsamic vinegar, and let it simmer for an hour or so, adding more wine as needed. Strain the solids through a colander and return the liquid to the pan. Whisk in some chilled butter, and spoon over cooked venison.
- 2 pounds round steak, eye of round or sirloin
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 slices prosciutto, deli-thin
- 2 cups raw spinach leaves, stems removed
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs
- butcher string
- To butterfly venison, lay out on a flat cutting surface The idea is to open the meat up, leaving a "hinge" in the center. Start with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, and cut into the meat just below one end. Continue to cut into the meat while sliding th knife towards the opposite end of the meat, but not all the way through. If you happen to cut too deeply, it's not a huge deal, and you can fix it with a prosciutto "patch." When done, you should be able to open the meat up relatively flat with the hinge in the center of the meat. If the meat is a larger piece, you can butterfly it again and have two hinges. Press the meat flat.
- Rub venison on both sides with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay flat with the cut side facing up. Spread prosciutto across venison. Arrange spinach leaves on top of prosciutto. Combine cheese and breadcrumbs, and spread across spinach. Press down on stuffing so it lays flat. Starting at one end, roll up snugly while holding stuffing in place with fingers. Tie securely with butcher string.
- Place stuffed and tied venison on a medium-hot, well-lubricated grill. Brown on all sides until the internal temperature is 135 degrees for medium-rare. Let rest for 5 minutes, remove string and slice into medallions. If desired, drizzle your favorite sauce over.