Should you be able to get your hands on some, you will find that venison is a very lean meat. And being that it is from a wild animal, its meat will inherently have a more wild, some may say gamey, flavor. When I hear meat described as “gamey,” I feel that the word is not enough to describe the actual flavor of the meat—it’s like describing fish as “fishy.” Wild game is gamey? Well, no duh. But what does that word mean? Well, a lot of wild animals have strong-tasting meat because of what they eat: sticks, bark, grass, leaves, berries, other animals, whatever smells edible. But also keep in mind that wild animals get a lot of exercise, way more than any domestic animal could ever hope for.
Wild animals are also quite often older than their domestic counterparts. For example, broiler chickens are slaughtered at six to 14 weeks of age, and beef cows are only 18 to 26 months old when they are slaughtered, whereas a typical game bird could be between 4 and 24 months old, and a 10-point buck could be anywhere from 2 to 5 years old. All of these things have an effect on what the animal will taste like.
- 6 venison chops, 4-5 oz. each
- 6 strips wide, thick-cut bacon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups game stock to be reduced to 3 Tablespoons meat glace if desired
- fresh minced parsley for a garnish
Venison Wrapped in Bacon to Avoid Overcooking
- Cut or get some venison chops from the loin or round section of a deer. These are loin chops from a deer that I shot last fall. I froze the loins and other venison cuts in whole sections and thaw them as needed. After deer seanon in the fall I cook venison all winter and try to not have any left come summer because the freezer life for meat is three to six months at best, unless you have a deep-freeze and a vacuum sealer. Also the spring and summer bring a bounty of other seasonal things to eat. I have roasted whole loins wrapped in bacon before, with fantastic results. So making some bacon-wrapped venison chops with my last venison loin was a no-brainer.
- Wrap the venison chops in some good-tasting bacon. Get yourself a good thick-cut and properly smoked bacon. Don’t worry too much about getting the really meaty stuff here. In this case, the fatty bacon is gonna work out better for you. Season the venison chop before you wrap it, but remember that the sides of the chop won’t need any salt, as they will be getting plenty from the bacon. I only seasoned the chops with salt and pepper, but you could add some other spices if you want. It just depends on how much you like the natural taste of venison. Use a toothpick to keep the bacon wrapped around the chop.
- Broil or grill the bacon-wrapped venison chops until medium-rare. If you are broiling the chops, you are going to want to move a rack to the middle of the oven and preheat the broiler to high for about 5 minutes. Place the venison chops on a wire rack or a broiling pan and broil them for 5 minutes on each side. Check the internal temperature with a digital thermometer: 125° F for rare, 135 for medium, 145 for medium well, 155 for well. I reduced some game stock for a bit of a meat glace. Making game stock is a great way to utilize all those venison bones that you don’t know what to do with.
Tips & Tricks
- Trim away all of the silverskin from the venison loin before you wrap it with bacon. Use a good sharp fillet or boning knife.
- If you are inexperienced with using your broiler, keep your eye on the meat as it cooks. You may have to move the rack lower if the meat is getting torched.
- If you are using a grill, grill the meat 5-6 minutes per side over medium-high heat until the internal temp of the venison chops reaches your desired doneness temperature, as listed in the last step.
- Don’t forget that there are toothpicks in the chops when it comes time to eat them.