Crockpot venison backstrap makes a great meal

crockpot venison backstrap

Try this recipe for one of the best pieces of venison

Winter typically departs the Carolinas in March, but this one has been so unusual that all bets are off. There are usually long stretches of mild weather leading into spring during March, and I sure hope there are again this year. Either way, this crockpot venison backstrap tastes great after a spring outing.

However, with winter not really coming, just popping in and out for a week or so at a time, I thought a recipe to cook inside might be a good idea. This is one I haven’t prepared in a while and probably wouldn’t if I hadn’t stumbled across a piece of backstrap in the freezer while looking for something else.

There’s never a bad time for serving venison, and this is an easy way to prepare the main course for dinner while doing something else, like getting ready for spring fishing or the rapidly approaching turkey season. It even works as a good surprise on a work day at your hunting lodge. Once you get it going, it’s amazingly like a Ronco appliance. Just set it and forget it and return later to the main course of your meal cooked tender, juicy and ready to serve.

This recipe is special. Everyone loves backstrap, and this recipe makes it as tasty as possible with minimal effort. Go search your freezer and find a piece of backstrap to try this. You’ll be glad you did.

Crockpot backstrap

This isn’t your typical crockpot recipe. Most of them are stews or soups and those types of things, but this slow-cooks a piece of backstrap in a dry crockpot. That’s right, this recipe begins with a dry crockpot and piece of venison wrapped snugly in aluminum foil. I know it’s difficult to fathom this could taste the way it does, but it’s delicious and tender. The only way you’ll know for sure is to try it yourself.

Like many recipes you find here, this is a combination of several things known to be good individually. Most outdoorsmen like backstrap and prepare it a variety of ways. This infuses the flavors of the onions, onion soup and spices into the backstrap while cooking it slowly to be sure it stays tender. Wrapping it in foil keeps the juices and steam contained and saturates the meat with the flavor. This is especially important with a lean piece of meat like a backstrap.

Make sure the backstrap
can sit completely on the bottom
of the crockpot.

Cinnamon and nutmeg aren’t spices often used with meat in this manner, but they combine with the peppers to create a sweet and subtle flavor. Some of my friends say they taste this a bit more in the onions and try to have a piece or two of onion in every bite.

Keep the steam in!

There is a bit of judgment call when cooking. The heat produced by crockpots and slow cookers varies. The one I have now is hotter than my last one, and I reduce cooking times. The size of the backstrap will also affect cooking time. This was a medium-size backstrap that I cooked for 5 hours and 15 minutes, and it was done all the way through.

Once this has cooked a while, some of the natural juices will find their way out of the foil and steam in the crockpot to keep the heat as even as possible. However, this doesn’t make a bunch of juice, and most of it stays in the foil. These drippings make an excellent au jus to serve with the meal. Don’t try to sneak a taste. Maybe more than with other recipes that fill the crock pot more than half full, the steam is important, and it is imperative not to remove the lid until you think the backstrap is done. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

Half to whole piece of venison backstrap, 1 to 3 pounds. The backstrap must be able to lay flat on the bottom of the crock pot.

1 medium sweet onion

1 pkg dry onion soup mix

Tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp black pepper

Aluminum foil

Optional: 1 Jalapeno pepper.

PREPARATION:

Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper and black pepper. Slice the onion and cut slices into quarters or halves to match the width of the backstrap. Tear off a piece of aluminum foil large enough to totally wrap the backstrap. Lay the backstrap on the foil and sprinkle the pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon mixture on both sides. Sprinkle the onion soup mix on both sides of the backstrap. Score the backstrap 2/3 deep every couple of inches. Insert an onion slice in each score. Break up the remaining onion and lay pieces around and on top of the backstrap. Sprinkle any remaining spices and soup mix on the top of the backstrap, even covering the onion.

Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg aren’t typically used with venison, but they play big roles in this recipe.

Wrap the backstrap tightly in the foil. Use a second piece, if necessary; it must be sealed well. Place the wrapped backstrap in the bottom of the crock pot and put the lid on. Do not add any liquid. Turn the crock pot to low and cook approximately 5 to 6 hours until the backstrap is tender.

Adjust according to size

The time will vary depending on the size of the backstrap and how hot your particular crock pot cooks. A smaller backstrap will cook quicker and a larger one may require a little more time. The backstrap should make some juice while cooking. Most will stay in the foil, but some may run out into the crock pot. Don’t worry about it. Serve immediately after opening the foil.

Option: If you like the flavor of jalapeno peppers, slice a pepper and add pepper slices in the scores with the onion and spread the remaining pieces around and on the backstrap before sealing it in the foil.

This serves well with a variety of vegetables. I like to begin with a green salad and serve it with steamed or stir-fried vegetables and a baked potato or sweet potato. Whole wheat dinner rolls or a slice of hearty bread accompanies it well. This is a great meal that welcomes a bowl of apple or peach cobbler topped with a scoop of ice cream as the finishing touch.

Jerry Dilsaver
About Jerry Dilsaver 1174 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., a full-time freelance writer, is a columnist for Carolina Sportsman. He is a former SKA National Champion and USAA Angler of the Year.

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