The key to blackening is to use a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, and screaming-hot heat. Restaurants that serve blackened meats and fish keep a white-hot skillet over a burner at all times.
I highly recommend that you open the doors and windows and provide as much ventilation as possible. Done properly, there’s plenty of smoke.
Adding insult to smoke, when you blacken a hunk of meat, you’re actually burning the peppery spices that coat the outside. Inhaling hot, peppery smoke might cause watery eyes and a burning throat.
If you have a high-BTU outside burner and a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, that’s ideal.
If I haven’t scared you off, proceed with caution.
Blackened Venison Backstrap
- 4 8-ounce backstrap steaks, butterflied
- 2 tbsp melted butter
Blackening Spice Rub
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp each, ground oregano, ground thyme and cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp each, ground black pepper, ground white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
- 8 thick slices tomato
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- 1 tsp fresh parsley leaves, minced
- Coat steaks with melted butter. Combine rub ingredients, and coat meat evenly. Save extra spice mix for blackening fish, game, beef or pork at a later date.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for at least 20 minutes. Place steaks in pan, and cook about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. NOTE: Provide adequate ventilation, and do not breathe smoke or fumes.
- Place two tomato slices on each plate. Set meat on tomato. Top with a tablespoon of sour cream, and sprinkle parsley over.