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Started by catdaddy, May 17, 2011, 05:32:24 PM

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Well, you guys must realize I think an awful lot of you to be sharing some of my cooking secrets. Some of my friends are amused at the way I prepare some dishes-- hovering over them like a hen with chicks in a rain storm to keep them from seeing exactly what I am doing. But you know, cooking can be compared to some of the card tricks I am also known for—if you knew how I was doing---you'd kick yourself for not begin able to figure it out.



•   Deer meat. Down here in the South, the Yankees that have seen fit to migrate to our beloved land are easily identified by calling it "Venison".  We are preparing what most would call a roast, but I like to use the "back straps" instead. In my experienced opinion, this is the best cut of the deer. The back strap is the strip of meat that runs down each side of the back bone. If I am cooking for 4, I like to use an entire back strap, but ultimately it depends on the size of the deer and the size of the appetite of the people you are cooking for. If you have the option, obtain the back strap from a doe. If you really want to be selective, get the back strap from a young doe. This line of thought leads to an obvious analogy, but since this recipe may be going into a family publication one day, -- I choose to let it pass.   
•   Two or three Irish potatoes ( Those poor Scottish folks, they never did seem to get the same fame for their potato, so I suppose they compensated by coming up with a great whiskey instead)
•   A few carrots (not entirely necessary, but use them if you got them).
•   An onion or two depending on their size
•   A pack of dry onion soup mix ( I like Lipton's)
•   A Coke—I really hate to give this part of the recipe up, but I'll be dead one day and I don't want to carry this to my grave.  Don't use diet Coke, use a Real Coke. You will need about a half a can. Mix the other half with Jim Beam and drink it. Don't laugh—just follow the recipe and as instructed and you'll be glad you did.
•   Salt—use just enough. This is where the art is separated from the science—I like my food well salted, but too much will make the meat tough and too dry.     
•   Pepper—use a lot—note analogy above about art and science
•   Garlic Powder—NOT garlic salt—It is hard to describe how much. It seems I instinctively know when to stop sprinkling it on—It was just one of those talents I was born with and I try not to take it for granted.   
•   Seasoned meat tenderizer—I like McCormack's. 


"Necessity is the mother of invention" and this recipe is a prime example. After a long day of pursuing the "wily white tail (again, I'll let another great analogy pass here), I don't want to have to come back to camp, prepare dinner, wait for it to cook and then eat dinner. I and my partners (you can safely call your hunting buddies "partners" when you are confident with your manly-hood) want to come in, have a cocktail and then dig in. So this recipe is designed to be prepared and put together ahead of time, put it in the oven on low heat, and then to be greeted with a salivating aroma when entering the camp after the hunt.

•         The "back straps"—Be sure and peel off with a sharp knife the white layer of sinewy tissue on the back. If you don't, it will be tough---real tough. Also trim off any fat. Unlike beef or pork fat (YUM!!) deer fat is not good to eat.  Rub down the back strap with the meat tenderizer. Get personal with it and your use hands. If you can let it sit for an hour or two before cooking that is good, but not necessary. Go ahead and put some black pepper and garlic powder on too while you are at it. 
•         Put the back strap in a big (I realize big is a relative term, but you'll just have to use your best judgment and figure it out) cast iron skillet. If you have not been introduced to the joys of cooking with a cast iron skillet you should learn. If you are a neophyte and don't have one and want to become a "sho nuff" cook and get a new one, be sure and season it properly before using it. If you have to put this dish in something else go ahead, it won't be the end of the world. Cast iron skillets are a time tested best way to cook a lot of dishes, like corn bread for example. Plus they are better than a rolling pin for conking a drunk husband on the head ( the rule of thumb here in the south is that this is only socially acceptable if the he comes in after mid-night: before that, he has simply been out drinking)   
•         Cut up the potatoes in large size chunks along with the carrots. Place them around and on the back strap. Peel the onion(s) and cut them in thick slices and put them mostly on top. I have "hunked up" the onions too and that is just as good.
•         Dump the pack of soup mix on top. This reminds me of when I told my wife we were going to dump my uncle's ashes in the Mississippi River. She quickly corrected me and said "No, we were going to scatter them". Whatever—the end result is the same.
•         Sprinkle on some black pepper, salt and garlic powder "to taste" ( that is cook book jargon for " we are really not sure how to describe how much")
•         Now, take the can of coke and pour about half of it down one edge, not on top of the soup mix.
•         You can now cover this with tin foil (we don't say aluminum foil down here. This would be yet another tip off that we are dealing with a Yankee). Now you can put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook or you can immediately put in the oven
•         This dish is best if slow cooked. When I leave to go hunt, I put the dish, still covered in the tin foil in the oven on about 300. I may even put it on 275 depending on if I am in a good mood or not. Then I am off to the woods until dark, leaving my dinner to slow cook for 3 hours or so.
•         When I get back, the cabin is smelling what can only be described as "RIGHTEOUS". I take off the tin foil, turn the oven way up on high heat to quickly brown the dish and produce some  "caramelization" OK , I admit it, I picked that word up from watching Emeril one night with the missus ( just before the game started) 

There you have it, this is GOOD STUFF. You don't really need any side dishes because you already have taters, carrots and onions in there. I would recommend a pone of cornbread.  BON APPETIT!!!!!!!!     


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Six time Old Gobbler Contest Champions


Let me know when the book comes out, Tom. I am a believer. Mike   :you_rock:
May I assume you're not here to inquire about the alcohol or the tobacco?
If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.


I don't know if the backstraps would be any good, but I might try it just so I would have to go back and read the recipe again!  Good stuff, Tom!!




  You're the best ! I love you man !   :icon_thumright:


I have used Tom's recipe many times. It is awesome and easy. If I don't have backstrap I use deer steaks. Works on nice thick pork chops too.