Butter. Basted. Backstrap. If you want to try this time-honored classic, you've come to the right place. With a perfect crust on the outside and a juicy tender inside, this is the perfect venison backstrap recipe.
Why This Recipe Works:
Arroser (a·ro·zé) is French for "to baste." This recipe uses super hot butter poured continuously over your steak to finish the cooking process. The result is an evenly cooked inside with a flavorful crust on the outside. A couple of extra ingredients like fresh thyme and garlic give this steak a delicious aromatic flavor as well.
- Venison Backstrap: This cooking method works for any type of steak. Use whatever works for you!
- Lard: I like to use homemade lard to cook steak but you can use whatever cooking fat you prefer.
- Thyme: Fresh thyme can be substituted with fresh rosemary if you'd like.
- Cast Iron Pan: A cast iron pan is essential to creating the perfect butter-basted backstrap. Cast iron holds heat better than most other pans which really helps to make the perfect steak.
Step by Step Instructions:
How To Cook a Butter-Basted Steak:
A fancy word like arroser can be intimidating but you'll master it in no time! Follow a few simple steps below and you'll be surprised at how easy it is.
Pro Tip: Letting your steak rest is key to keeping your steak juicy and flavorful. If you cut it too soon, a lot of the juices will run out of the steak.
More Backstrap Recipes to Try:
- Grilled Venison Backstrap
- Backstrap with Cherry Sauce
- Venison Poke Bowls
- Elk Backstrap with Red Wine Mushrooms
- Grilled Fajita Salad with Antelope
Putting it All Together:
The perfect steak is the perfect centerpiece to any meal. You don't need much more than a delicious vegetable side like roasted cauliflower and some homemade sourdough bread to make a beautiful rustic meal. Oh, and don't forget to open a bottle of wine. Enjoy!
The muscle that runs along either side of a deer or other game animals is referred to as the backstrap. This is the same muscle that a ribeye comes from on a cow. Backstraps are often cut into approximately 1 lb portions, cut into medallions, or cut into butterflied steaks.
A lot of answers online will tell you to soak your meat in various brines, milk, etc. But, allowing your meat to thaw on paper towels will also help soak up some of the off flavors that may be found in your venison. Keeping the outside of your steak dry also helps develop the perfect crust when cooking so it's a win-win!
Venison steak can be very tender if prepared properly. Aging your meat is the first step to achieving tender venison meat. You can age it before you freeze it or even leaving it in the freezer for several months before eating it can increase the tenderness. Cooking the meat rare or medium-rare also helps keep it tender. Venison is very lean so if it's overcooked, it can become tough and dry.
Other Steak Recipes You'll Love:
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Perfect Venison Backstrap
- 1 lb venison backstrap
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoon salted butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon lard (or other high smokepoint cooking fat)
- Thaw meat in the fridge on paper towel lined plate. Change the paper towels out a time or 2 until the meat is thawed. This will help remove any off flavors and will help in the browning process. Let steak sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat cast iron pan over high heat. While pan is heating, season meat generously on one side with salt and pepper. Add lard to pan.
- Allow lard to get hot, about 30 seconds. Put steak seasoned side down in the pan. Season the other side of the steak and cook 2.5-3.5 minutes.
- Flip steak and add butter, thyme, and garlic cloves to pan. Allow the herbs and garlic to season the butter as it melts, about 30 seconds.
- Place thyme and garlic on top of steak and continuously pour hot butter over steak until 2.5-3.5 minutes have passed. 2.5 minutes per side will give you a steak on the rarer side. 3.5 minutes will be closer to medium rare. Time will vary greatly depending on the thickness of the steak. Once the internal temperature reaches 120°F, it's time to pull it out of the pan.
- Remove steak from pan and let rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board or plate. Slice into ¼-½" slices and serve with butter from the pan. Enjoy!
- Letting your steak rest for at least 10 minutes will help keep the juices inside the meat. If you cut it too soon, a lot of the juices will spill out onto your cutting board.
This is now my favorite quick way to cook backstrap. Followed directions exactly (thanks for being so detailed!) and both steaks came out perfectly medium rare. My husband was on the phone when they were about to finish, so I did remove them from the pan about 30 seconds early and covered them, I assumed they’d continue cooking a bit while resting and it worked out beautifully. Very juicy and flavorful, this is my new go-to recipe for backstrap! Thank you for a wonderful recipe, Annie!
Annie Weisz says
Thank you so much for your kind words, Melissa! I'm so glad the recipe worked out for you. I hope you have many more delicious backstrap meals!
Chris F says
Cook times are too short for thick cuts. I used two very thick backstraps (about 2.5 inches thick) and the pan time wasn't even close to long enough. I just finished them in the oven for about 10 minutes and they came out beautifully (one was medium rare, the other just shy of medium).
Annie Weisz says
Thank you! The cook time does depend on a lot of factors - steak thickness, steak temperature when raw, pan temperature, etc. I'm glad you still enjoyed the recipe! Finishing the steak in the oven is a great way to go.
Leonard Henry says
A five star recipe if there was one!
Annie Weisz says
Thank you so much!!
Lara M says
Even though this smoked up my house in a matter of moments, I still highly recommend this recipe. I didn’t have any lard or high temp cooking oil, so I used bacon grease. It added an extra bit of flavor. The flavor & texture was perfection.
Annie Weisz says
I really appreciate you still giving my recipe a 5-star rating despite the kitchen smoke. 😆 Bacon grease is a perfect substitute for lard. I'm so glad you enjoyed your steak!